Elegance and subtlety: words used to describe the way Campo Grande dealt with many polemic topics, including the stark inequalities and differences among the population of Rio de Janeiro. The film, directed by Sandra Kogut, was the subject of yesterday’s Cine Chat. One morning, two children are left in front of a building in Ipanema with no explanation other than a piece of paper with the name and address of Regina, the owner of the house. The arrival of these children in Regina’s life – and her attempts to deal with it – will profoundly change all their lives.​

Film critic, Rodrigo Fonseca, who mediated the debate, praised the narrative sophistication of the piece, which, he observed, harmoniously weaved together many different elements in the film. He particularly noted the artful depiction of a deconstructed Rio de Janeiro: throughout the city is constantly shown to be undergoing building works. Fonseca asked Kogut about the significance of the film’s title. “It’s got a double meaning,” she revealed. “It’s not just a literal place name, but also figuratively evokes this idea of distance, of a frightening and unknown land.” For the protagonist, therefore, “Campo Grande” is the name of the neighbourhood in the Eastern zone of the city, where the children come from, but, for the children, the “Campo Grande” is the chic Ipanema, the neighbourhood in which they end up.

The cast and crew discussed the incredible acting of the younger cast members, the two children, as well as that of the main character, played by Carla Ribas, which required both mental and physical transformation. The film’s distributor, Jean-Thomas Bernardini, from Imovision, spoke about the difficulty today for auteur cinema in the Brazilian market. Bernadini praised the director: “I had already seen her previous works, and knew that she had the capability to bring the most out of Campo grande.”

To conclude, Rodrigo Fonseca celebrated the rise of Brazilian female directors recently, quoting success-stories The Second Mother (Que horas ela volta?) by Anna Muylaert and Kill Me Please by Anita Rocha da Silveira.


Adapted by Gill Harris from a text by Maria Caú

Photos: Natália Alvim




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