A saga of sisterhood for the ages, Madame Sata director Karim Aïnouz’s sensual ‘tropical melodrama’ won top prize at this year’s Cannes Un Certain Regard section.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz’s glorious Un Certain Regard winner richly renders the myth and the making of two spirited sisters who grow up inseparable before each taking very different paths. Living years in the same city without ever knowing it, the tension of whether they will find each other or not hangs exquisitely over this sumptuous film.
“Lustrous textures, boldly saturated colors and lush sounds serve to intensify the intimacy of… Aïnouz’s gorgeous melodrama about women whose independence of mind remains undiminished, even as their dreams are shattered by a stifling patriarchal society… The film hinges on a heartbreaking separation that causes decades of yearning and unanswered questions. But its supple moods are far more complex than that narrative core might suggest, winding through passages by turns seductive and sorrowful, tender and raw.
[The story is] enveloped in the characteristically Brazilian feeling of melancholy known as saudade, yet sustained by a sense of warmth and solidarity that seems present even when all physical connection between the central characters has been broken. A deep love and respect for women – sisters, mothers, female friends who become family surrogates – and a somber acknowledgment of the wrongs they absorb informs every scene…
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a haunting drama… Aïnouz’s expert modulation of tone ensures that the… film keeps surprising us with new turns, frequently marked by ravishing use of Schiefer’s score, combined with piano passages from Liszt, Grieg and Chopin.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter