As a reviewer of films, I have a network of distributors and producers that send me films for review purposes. At this point in time it is feast or even “La Grande Bouffe”. I am being recognized as a film critic. Strange considering that Toronto Film Critic’s Association refuses to admit me to their hallowed ranks as I am not a paid film reviewer. Old boy’s club!
In any case with all films for review I receive there is a link to the film and then lots of press materials such as trailers, photos and a synopsis of the film. I always review the synopsis so I can see who the characters are and list them with an initial who they are to make my review process quicker. Is this synopsis for “Half Brother” correct? Increasingly I see it as overhyped and if I can say exaggerated. Who can I blame? Perhaps this synopsis is a marketing tool to draw me in to the review or it might simply be an interpretation of the film by whoever prepared the synopsis.
In “Half Brother” the synopsis provided seems to indicate a desperate search by a sister and her half brother for their missing mother Suely. My take after seeing the film is there is no desperate search.
Instead it is a exposé of lower middle class life in Sao Paulo.
It is a dead-end existence where at best survival is the name of the game.
Crime is rampant and an attempt is made to combat it by increased surveillance.
Racism is prevalent towards anyone dark skinned.
Drug use is rampant.
There is no future for youth.
Homophobia is rampant.
Murders are out of control.
Brazilian urban society is terminally ill.
The barely coping working class and lower middle class are increasingly desperate.
The Brazilian police force is overwhelmed and inefficient.
Social media is out of control and unregulated.
There is no linear development of a plot here rather a series of diverse thoughts and views of Brazilian society.
I suppose one might call the film “artsy” but note at the São Paulo International Film Festival it won best Brazilian Fiction Feature Film and Best Film by First-Time Director.
It will be available June 15th on Amazon, Vudu and local cable and satellite providers as well as DVD.
Directed by Eliane Costar.
You can see the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZtVl9IDFLs