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To the Left of the Father (2001)
"Lavoura Arcaica" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  29 October 2001 (Brazil)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,090 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 8 critic

Brazilian baroque. The young son that ran from his dominant family, descends into decadence and then returns to the nest. With melodramatic themes of tyrannical fathers, incest, fierce ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
André
Raul Cortez ...
Father
Juliana Carneiro da Cunha ...
Mother
Simone Spoladore ...
Ana
...
Pedro, the elder brother
...
Lula, the younger brother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Felipe Abreu Salomão
Samir Muci Alcici Júnior
Leda Samara Antunes
Luiz Fernando Carvalho ...
André - Narrator (voice)
Pablo César Câncio ...
André as a boy
Raphaela Borges David
Fábio Luiz Marinho de Oliveira
Denise Del Vecchio ...
Prostitute
Laura Hallack Ferreira
Edit

Storyline

Brazilian baroque. The young son that ran from his dominant family, descends into decadence and then returns to the nest. With melodramatic themes of tyrannical fathers, incest, fierce family conflicts and an overheated and intense visual style to match. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

29 October 2001 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

A la izquierda del padre  »

Filming Locations:


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 »
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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Not an easy film, but rewarding
29 October 2007 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

'Stunning' is not an exaggerated word to describe this film. The images are haunting, and I saw it on the small screen at home. I can only imagine what it must have looked like in a theatre.

Director Luiz Fernando Carvalho is masterful in meticulously capturing the poetic word rhythms of novelist Raduan Nassar, who wrote this metaphysical, philosophical work. The largely verbatim prose-poetry (direct from Nasar's book), spoken improvisationally by the actors, is psychologically multi-layered. It is all brilliantly complemented by Walter Cavalho's multi-award-winning cinematography. Cavalho's disturbing and often sumptuous images linger long after the screen has turned dark. One is reminded of Sven Nykvist's haunting style of 'still-life-photography' in films, particularly those made with Ingmar Bergman.

Lavoura Carcaica is almost three hours long, and (isn't this always the way with great films?) it requires an almost immediate re-viewing. One just cannot absorb the language and imagery in one sitting.

The ensemble acting is first-rate. Sultan Mello is the tortured son in temporary self-imposed exile from his family, who yearns (shamefully) for the love and sensual heat of his sister Ana's body; Simone Spoladore is the innocent, sweet-faced Ana, who expresses her desire for love by dancing (the images are more erotic than 99% of the soft-core sex you see in mainstream movies these days); Juliana Carneiro da Cunha is the loving, long-suffering mother who is an exemplar of maternity, a woman who sacrifices everything to her children, and particularly her 'pet,' Andre (Mello); and Raul Cortez is simply astonishing to watch as the austere, evangelistic, hypocritical father who rages about the primacy of familial love but doesn't really understand its true meaning when it comes to his own children.

This is a film that well deserved its many nominations and awards. It is deeply challenging and demanding, and it almost certainly would never have been made in Hollywood.


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