Vazante (2017) Poster

(2017)

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9/10
Vazante: Gendering Brazil
babyjaguar12 April 2018
This visual arresting film is about 1800s colonial life in central Brazil depicting the harsh life of slavery plus a forbidden love story and vengeance. Its cast produces wonderful performances like the main protagonist, "Antonio" played by Adriano Carvalho.

The story unfolds as "Antonio" tends to his settlement, a place of numerous slaves and marries his recently deceased wife's teen niece, "Beatriz" (played tenderly by Luana Nastas). The strength of this story is the focus on gender, since its female characters dominate this film. From the master's maternal household to the slave women used for sexual affairs and labor for Antonio, this cast of diverse women characters solidify the storytelling.

This film is met with visceral imagery as it was shot entirely in black and white. Thomas's depiction of plantation work and visual references of Minas Gerais (known for its mining history) follows great Brazilian photographic traditions. There is almost no music soundtrack (although Brazilian legendary musician, Tom Ze has a track in the film) letting the viewer take in sounds from the landscape of birds chirping to food cooking throughout the house.
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