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// Presented as part of Filmatique's New South American Cinema Series //

Exclusive Essay: Girimunho: Life Imagined in the Backlands of Minas Gerais

Spotlight on Girimunho



Helvecio Marins Jr. & Clarissa Campolina / Brazil, 2011 / Venice, Dubai, Edinburgh, Havana, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Mar del Plata, Minneapolis, Munich, Nantes, Panama, Rotterdam, San Sebastián, Toronto, Toulouse, Vienna / 90'


Bastú is an octogenarian living in the small town of São Romão in Brazil's arid north.  When her husband dies in his sleep, Bastú passes the time telling stories to her grandchildren and reminiscing with friends.  Her husband returns ever so often as an apparition throughout the house but Bastú goes on with her life, her unbridled optimism counterpointed by a heightened understanding of her own mortality.


Capturing the rhythms of quotidian life in rural Brazil and blending both documentary and narrative techniques, Girimunho is a richly-textured portrait of a woman in her twilight years.  Helvecio Marins Jr. & Clarissa Campolina's first feature premiered at Venice Orizzonti, Toronto, San Sebastián, and Rotterdam; Minneapolis, where it won Best Emerging Filmmaker Award; and Havana, where it won the Special Jury Prize.



"Atmospheric, semi-documentary character-study of a sprightly grandmother provides a richly rewarding peek into Brazilian village life... A fine example of ethnographic art-cinema anchored by the special charisma of fascinating real-life individuals, this arresting first feature from directors Clarissa Campolina and Helvécio Marins Jr... wears its poetical and philosophical aspects with a highly appealing lightness"

- Neil Young, Venice ReviewThe Hollywood Reporter