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MADALENA (2021, BRA) – 5/10

From Brazil comes this strange, bizarre, avant-garde film, for which only when it ends do we actually understand what the poet or director, the debutant Mediano Marcheti, wanted to say. He says in the title of the film that Brazil is the country with the most murders of trans people per capita, and only then do we realize who is the owner of the dead body that we see at the very beginning lying in a white dress in a soybean field. Admittedly, before that, we see some large birds that look like ostriches, bleating in the fields and picking leaves, and later we follow three stories whose protagonists are looking for Madalena, i.e. the dead man from soybeans.

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Luziane, that is, the hostess from the night club, is looking for Madalena. There is also Cristiano who reluctantly supervises all those fields owned by his father, and at the end we see some kind of bizarre group, of which at least one is a trans, and they are driving somewhere in a car. “Madalena” was another in a series of postmodernist, stylized art films that have been coming out of Brazil lately, some of which sit better with me, and some, like this one, not at all. The photography here is of high quality, the environment of the Brazilian province is interesting and impressive, the intention is obvious to try to convey all those contrasts of huge Brazil, but the rest is somehow mediocre.

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