Seven Years in May (Sete Anos em Maio), dir. Affonso Uchôa, Brazil / Argentina 2019, 42 min., Portuguese with English subtitles
The first in FRAMES of REPRESENTATION’s two short film programmes features new works from Portugal, Brazil and France.
Reynard (dir. Leonor Noivo) follows Marta as she navigates the effects of a serious illness. Flashes of red – Marta’s hair, coat, nails – allude to the allegorical fox with a hint of danger, the colour deliberately framed in contrast to the muted surroundings and often punctuated by contradictions: a woman vomiting blood, cherry-picking carried out with an ominous precision. Noivo’s camera gracefully acts as a silent witness, pacing behind the young woman as though on the hunt.
Seven Years in May (dir. Affonso Uchôa) places the past as a dark, foreign country, revisiting it through the hypnotic, pulsating words of the film’s young protagonist. Immersed in the sepulchral night as he sits in front of a campfire, Rafael dos Santos Rocha is not an immaculate off-screen narrative voice but a figure engraved in the landscape, an ostracised and oppressed individual whose body and existence have been violently marked by police repression. Seven Years in May continues Uchôa’s exploration of the silenced stories and characters of Contagem, a city in southeast Brazil, amid a larger narrative of poverty, racism and systemic institutional corruption.
Tender (dir. Isabel Pagliai) takes us into late summertime, often at sunset, and a group of kids wandering barefoot around a lake like wild animals. Their views on love show cunning, but the tension between the girls and the boys is both fierce and inseparable from desire. While Pagliai’s work at times seems to hide violence behind its title, it also unequivocally stands beside the children like a tree or a shadow, witnessing their blossoming yet brutal relationships as their slender bodies are quietly covered by the dusk.
This screening is followed by a Q&A with directors Leonor Noivo, Affonso Uchôa and Isabel Pagliai.
Reynard (Raposa), dir. Leonor Noivo, Portugal 2019, 40 min., Portuguese with English subtitles LONDON PREMIERE
Seven Years in May (Sete Anos em Maio), dir. Affonso Uchôa, Brazil / Argentina 2019, 42 min., Portuguese with English subtitles UK PREMIERE
Tender (Tendre), dir. Isabel Pagliai, France 2020, 43 min., French with English subtitles UK PREMIERE