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Free adaptation of Machado de Assis's short story "Pai Contra Mãe", having some of Nireu Cavalcanti's 18th Century chronicles as inspiration, the film tries to trace a parallel between life in Brazil during the slavery period and life in modern Brazil. Written by
"Quanto vale ou é por quilo" shows us parallel and fragmentary stories about life in Brazil during slavery period (that ended at 1888) and also during recent times, when non-governmental organizations explore poverty in order to make money.
Unilateral, exaggerated, perhaps intentionally artificial, "Quanto vale..." do not have the well-dosed mix of comedy, irreverence and political denunciation that made "Cronicamente Inviável/Chronically Unfeasible" a cult movie in his country. It lacks rhythm, it lacks more and clearer links between the various stories throughout the movie -- that is too much fragmentary.
But is worthy seeing it. And if you are a Latin-American one MUST see it. Bianchi's unique capability of characterizing Brazilian society's bad habits makes his movies disturbing, electrical and very, very instructive. No one else in Brazil has his guts. His vision of Brazil may not be "the" truth, nor the only way to see that country and its society. His movies dares to show his opinion. But indeed they are yet the best portrait of the moral crisis that corrupts his nation from the "favelas" to the politicians in Brasilia.
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