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Estamira (2004)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 463 users  
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Documentary about Estamira, a 63-year-old woman who's been working for over 20 years at a landfill in Rio de Janeiro. Schizophrenic, but very charismatic, she's the leader of a small ... See full summary »

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Title: Estamira (2004)

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Documentary about Estamira, a 63-year-old woman who's been working for over 20 years at a landfill in Rio de Janeiro. Schizophrenic, but very charismatic, she's the leader of a small community of old people living off garbage and has a very lyrical and philosophical attitude towards life. Written by lukejoplin@infolink.com.br

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28 July 2006 (Brazil)  »

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We start to think we are the crazy ones
18 August 2006 | by (Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the beginning of the movie we already get impressed with the beautiful photography. The camera catches some scenes not so common on our daily routine, we start to enter Estamira's world.

First, her madness: She says some concepts that seem out of reality and belonging to someone unreasonable person who's lost in life; maybe the long time she had spent on that amount of waste turned her into someone badly ill.

Throughout the movie, her words get in contrast with impressive sceneries. Nature and the human waste create an impression of dystopia and induce deep reflections about humanity and all we have done to ourselves.

Although in a poor and dirty place with inhuman conditions, we can see compassion and fraternity. Her words, although sometimes senseless, start to make some sense (if we take her living context as a start).

She is in fact ill; she is psycho. Her hallucinations go on through mystics and hate about catholicism. Se is sure that she is blessed with superior powers. She has hard pains, "it's the remote control" she says.

The documentary, then, focus on her personal history, her daughter, her son (a religion seeker), her "lost" daughter, the abandon of her husband, the rapes she suffered, her frustration with her believes. Her psychopathy starts to seem reasonable and to touch us deeply. In her mind, ideas and memories get mixed and form new concepts.

Despite her living conditions, she is happy and satisfied. Maybe it's an illusion, but her life is colored. And the camera shows that: when she talks about herself, the black and white becomes vivid and plain.

And we start to think: she is in a so sad and depressing reality (comparing to ours), but what she says about life, future, politics, religion, believes and perspectives... though based on an ill mind, makes a lot of sense to us. It's even revealing. Maybe the world is crazy. We are in a chaos. And Estamira, who is out of the economic system, can broadcast it.

Or not. Maybe we are so deeply lost in our normality and empty standard way of living, that we believe in anyone who says that can save us.


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