Yesterday There Were Strange Things in the Sky
Ontem Havia Coisas Estranhas No Céu
- Bruno Risas
- 110 min
- Michael Wahrmann (Sancho&Punta), Julia Alves (Sancho&Punta)
After my father got unemployed, the whole family had to go back to the house at Bresser, an old working class neighbourhood in São Paulo. Everyone stay all day at home, they fight a lot. The dogs bark. In the meanwhile, I film them.
Ten minutes into Bruno Risas’ first documentary feature, at the moment his mother Vivian describes herself exactly as we see her – « character » sitting on the living-room sofa, slowly smoking the cigarette held in her left hand, expressing regret and an existential lassitude after the morning’s chores – there is no longer any doubt that this home-movie calls on a carefully concerted mise-en-scène. Already, the preceding cleanly cut scenes of everyday life had not only enabled us to recognise the hand of this talented cameraman who has worked with a young generation of Brazilian filmmakers including Gustavo Vinagre and Juliana Rojas; but it has also given the clear impression of the actors’ connivance, of a collective work that avoids both the assignation of its subjects and the usual game of true-false. For nearly ten years, Risas has returned to Bresser, the São Paulo working-class district where he was born, to film his parents, his sister and grandmother, who suffers from senile dementia. A decade that has seen Lula’s demise, Roussef’s removal and Bolsonaro’s rise to power without upsetting the rituals of a life that represents to itself the conditions of its existence by making a film. Anchored in the repetition of tasks and the passing days, this fictionalising ultimately produces an extraordinary phenomenon, as unmistakable as it is brief and inexplicable.
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Bruno Risas works as director, DoP and producer. He is co-founder of the production company SANCHO&PUNTA. As DoP he worked with relevant names of the new Brazilian generation of directors such as Eliane Caffé, Juliana Rojas, Gustavo Vinagre and Maria Clara Escobar. As a director he released the short films Cajamar (2013), The Blind (2014) and Ventanas del ayer (2013/2017), exhibited in many national film festivals. Yesterday… is his first feature film, and participated in development labs such as LoboLab, BrLab and Talents Buenos Aires.