Using a style reminiscent of a child’s artistic view on the world—all stick limbs, over-bright colors and machines turned into monsters—Brazilian filmmaker Alê Abreu entices us into the fantastical perspective of a small boy from the country on an odyssey in the Big City. Abreu—who wrote, directed, edited and created the utterly unique hand-drawn animation himself—paints an expansive impressionistic canvas of unease and disquiet, but also of hope and wonder, as memories of the carefree natural landscape of the boy’s home clash with the mechanistic regimentation of the urban chaos and mess. There is no dialogue to speak of; a few lines in a fake language (actually, backwards Portuguese) suggest grownups talking about adult worries the boy cannot really understand. Yet there is glorious music everywhere, expressed in color as well as in sound. This is a magical film—though sometimes it’s of the scary, black-magic kind—full of imagery by turns lovely and startling, often both at the same time. It’s a stunning example of the power of animation, color and music to evoke powerful and profound emotion.
Director: Alê Abreu
Producer: Fernanda Carvalho and Tita Tessler
Cast: Marco Campos, Vinicius Garcia and Lu Horta