August Winds (Gabriel Mascaro, 2014): Brazil

Reviewed by Mina Gilbertsson. Viewed at AFIFest 2014.

August Winds portrays the story of an aspiring tattoo artist and diver in a small village outside Brazil. The story follows two lovers Shirley (Dandara De Morais) and Jeison (Geová Manoel Dos Santos) who works at a coconut plantation and experience both love and death during the month of August.

The story shows the daily life of the people in the village outside Brazil with long takes and slow editing. Director Gabriel Mascaro brought his documentary knowledge to the film and shot beautiful scenes. The only actress on set was Dandara De Morais who played Shirley, the rest of the cast came from the actual village. That made the film seem even more genuine, even though it didn’t feel staged in any way.

Shirley moved from the big city to the suburban outside Brazil to take care of her sick grandmother. She enjoys listening to rock music and practice her tattoo skills on the pigs nearby. In the middle of the narrative, someone in the village dies. Jeison tries to clean the body and take care of the corps, until the police picks it up. Mascaro wanted to normalize the concept of death by showing the audience several scenes when Jeison takes care of the body. That is one aspect of the film that I really liked, even though that scene was creepy, I liked the idea of normalizing life in film. Mostly nowadays we only see fiction in films so it was nice to watch something “real” for a second.

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