In 1945, Japan surrendered to the United States and the Second World War was over. Right? Wrong. For eighty percent of the Japanese community in Brazil, Japan had won the war and defeat was...
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Based upon the true story of Olga Benário, the German-born wife of Brazilian communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes. During the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1930-1945) she was arrested and... See full summary »
São Paulo, 2007. Santana works as a dogcatcher, picking up stray animals. He is a friendly guy, averse to trouble, who has always kept violence away from the doorsteps of his home. One day,... See full summary »
A trip to the mental institution hell. This odyssey is lived by Neto, a middle class teenager, who lives a normal life until his father sends him to a mental institution after finding drugs... See full summary »
Cássia Kis Magro
Durval and his mother Carmita live at the back of "Durval Discos", a record store they own in São Paulo, specializing in vinyl records. They lead a boring and unattractive life, until the ... See full summary »
The lively João Grilo and the sly Chicó are poor guys living in the hinterland who cheat a bunch of people in a small Northeast Brazil town. But when they die, they have to be judged by ... See full summary »
After discovering the truth about being stolen by the woman he thought was his mother as a child, Pierre (AKA Felipe) must deal with the consequences of his mother's actions and must try to cope with his biological family.
In 1945, Japan surrendered to the United States and the Second World War was over. Right? Wrong. For eighty percent of the Japanese community in Brazil, Japan had won the war and defeat was nothing more than American propaganda. The few immigrants that accepted the truth were persecuted. Some were hunted down and assassinated - by their own countrymen - causing the start of a new, private war. Dirty Hearts is a thriller and love story told by the wife of one of the fanatics dedicated to preach Japanese victory. Little by little, she watches her husband, a hard-working immigrant, become an assassin and their love story fade away. Written by
In certain parts of modern-day Japan, there are state primary schools where the majority language is Portuguese. The historical reasons for this go back to large-scale immigration to Brazil from Japan at the beginning of the 20th century. That Japanese diaspora were cleaved in two at the end of WWII, with many fanatically believing that Japan had won the war, leading to murderous internecine strife with those who accepted the truth of Japan's defeat, surrender, and the Emperor refuting his divinity. It is a fascinating tale, little known, and deserves to have a great film made about it. Unfortunately, this is not that film.
A raft of great Japanese actors fail to lift this flat, plodding narrative that has a made-for-TV aesthetic. Takako Tokiwa is the ostensible protagonist, a loving wife who watches her husband descend into a killer. Except 'descend' is not the right word, as a switch seems simply to be flicked. And the wife's response is, bizarrely, to take vengeance on chickens. Tsuyoshi Ihara never really evokes anguish or guilt. Eiji Okuda as the militarist driving force is slightly more plausible. But Kimiko Yo, who since Departures has hardly put a foot wrong, squeals and mugs her was through this in embarrassing fashion.
The direction never really lets the story grow. Ihara's moment when he realises his own gullibility comes and goes without pause. The break-up of the marriage largely takes place without the husband and wife sharing the same frame. The Brazilians seem to inhabit the town and then disappear completely as convenience for the scene dictates. The sense of the period, of Brazil, is absent, and any contextualization of why these immigrants are there, and how torn they might be between motherland and adopted homeland, is missing.
Some tales are so fascinating it is tempting to think they can tell their own story. But they can't, and the writers and directors on this project might want to bear that in mind.
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