An essay on the imagination, cultural identity and prejudice against black people, focusing on the work of Gabriel Joaquim dos Santos, salt mine worker and semi-illiterate black artist who ... See full summary »
Following a newspaper ad, ordinary women tell part of their life stories to director Eduardo Coutinho, which are then re-enacted by actresses, blurring the barriers between truth, fiction and interpretation.
Eduardo Coutinho was filming a movie with the same name in the Northeast of Brazil, in 1964, when there came the military coup. He had to interrupt the project, and came back to it in 1981,... See full summary »
Tite de Lemos,
Can't get rawer than this -- a must-see, deeply disturbing documentary
Prepare your mind and stomach: "Boca de Lixo" (included as an extra in the DVD release of Eduardo Coutinho's 2004 documentary "Peões") is a documentary about the unspeakable life condition of dozens of families who live off garbage in the landfill of Itaoca, 40 km away from Rio de Janeiro. How these men, women and children, forgotten by everyone (governments, NGOs, the media, churches, God Himself) manage not only to survive but to actually have hope and dignity -- and even smile occasionally -- is beyond any rational explanation; it's a proof of die-hard human resilience even when facing the most abject circumstances and the most revolting social injustice imaginable.
"Boca de Lixo" is the raw, tough companion to Jorge Furtado's similar-theme instant classic short "Ilha das Flores" (1989); but while "Ilha" wins you by its originality, wit and elegant structure, "Boca de Lixo" punches your belly and knocks you out. You may say what you want about director Coutinho's methods -- yes, he can be interfering, obvious, patronizing -- but these images here are so strong you can almost smell the stink coming from the screen. If you don't get a big lump in your throat when you watch "Boca de Lixo", you're probably dead already. Don't miss this one -- but beware of its unsettling effects.
PS: If you liked this one, you should probably try to see Marcos Prado's documentary "Estamira" (2004).
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