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A Powerful Tropical Tragedy
ernestoloaizareal22 October 2019
How much did our mothers and grandmothers suffer from the patriarchy? How much did they have to hide, supress and ignore to protect us from past abuses?

Karim Ainouz tells, in his emotional tropical melodrama, stories from a time when a woman was expected to be subordinate in every single aspect of her life. Guida and Eurídice, apart from each other, lived outrageous trajectories, and, unfortunately, with expressive scars that lasted until today. The lies of extremally conservative parents, the superb and envy of Eurídice's husband, the suffering in maternity, the crucial solidarity between desperate women - all of it built a strong indignation and, at last, everybody cries in the end: a real tragic one. Fernanda Montenegro is an acting gem.

With technical maestry, Karim's team guides the movie in a raw way. The cinematography of Hélène Louvart is outstanding capturing old, green and dirty Rio de Janeiro. Karim's directing choices are really touching and carry a whole bunch of social issues with flow. The cello and piano from Benedikt Schiefer are as unsettling as the character's obstacles.

I hope that when women (especially older ones) watch this movie, they identify themselves and keep fighting against the male authoritarianism, fighting for freedom. I hope that when men watch this movie, they identify in themselves traces of sexism to keep changing, to keep evolving and encouraging other ones to be better.

It's definitely an incredible and important movie that answers the questions above with some of the multiple possibilites, multiple realities that exist. It's a must see
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A Steinbeckesque Tragedy...
Xstal21 April 2020
A tale of two sisters and the mental trauma they endure as they're unfairly separated due to the conservative and misogynistic mindsets washed into the naive and ignorant; mindsets that have been perpetuated throughout time via cultures, governments and religions established to control. Predominantly set in 1950's Rio and reminiscent of the great films of that time, beautiful performances convey the oppression and struggle so many had to fight against, and still do - bringing the invisible and unseen to your attention.
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Tragically beautiful, or beautifully sad
erikgabrielhr5 December 2019
My biggest turndown with Invisible Life's biggest competition inside Brazil this year ('Bacurau') was the excess of metaphors to make it a smart work -- some of which have absolutely no contibution to the story. Still, it was able to provoke a lot of emotional reactions, it's specially smart and meaningful to watch from a Brazilian perspective. Invisible Life is something different, it's universal, delicate and rough at the same time, and it's story has no need to explaining -- we all know what it is about. Still, they explain (the only reason why it's not a 100% for me). Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler are incredible. Also need to mention the short appearance from Brazil's greatest actress of all time, Academy Award nominee Fernanda Montenegro, not only for the name but mostly because, after 120 minutes of the movie, her performance was still able to reach out to the emotions you built for the characters in the past 2 hours. Overall, absolutely beautiful. The film is a visual spectacle, but also a beautiful and touching story.
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Infused with the Passion of the Brazilian People
Raven-196911 October 2020
Past waterfalls, granite cliffs and ocean swells on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro sisters Euridice and Guida momentarily lose each other as they weave through the dense forest. The sisters call out in alarm. Finding each other again, they embrace with such passion as if they have not been together in years.

Soon however the sisters find themselves far apart. Guida falls for a Greek sailor and departs with him in the night on a ship to Athens. She later returns to Rio de Janeiro single and pregnant, but by this time she is not welcome back. Father and daughter exchange angry words. "You are no longer my daughter," he declares. It is the 1950s and Guida discovers what it means to be a woman alone in the world. The father lies to both sisters, telling Guida that Euridice is in Vienna. As a piano prodigy it was always her dream to go there. Euridice is married and not informed that Guida returned. Each sister believes the other is on the far side of the world when in fact they are in the same city. "I begin to trace a new path that will take me back to you," writes Guida, but there is no answer. As their fortunes rise and fall the sisters continue to search for each other, but both Guida and Euridice become invisible in different ways.

Invisible Life is a sensual, colorful and heart-rending story of feminine resilience. Brazilians are a deeply passionate people. At a restaurant in Sao Paulo I witnessed a mother greet her little daughter, who was gone for only a few minutes to get her breakfast at a buffet, and when they reunited they embraced and kissed like they were apart for years. This passion and love is evident throughout the film and infused in the forest, the rising and falling sea, and the outstretched arms of Christ looking over Rio de Janiero. This beautiful film is the Un Certain Regard winner at Cannes and is based on The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha.
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Amazing experience
djguzz17 November 2019
An immersive experience with great acting and a terrific story. One of the best movies of 2019. Highly recommended!
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Artfully Captures Brazilian Culture and Nuances of the 1950s
rannynm7 December 2019
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a melodrama that gives the audience a look at Brazilian culture during the 1950s and what life was like for most women under the patriarchal society that often made them struggle to succeed. What captured my attention from the outset were the spectacular set design and the period costumes that accurately depict life from that time. The production team, particularly director Karim Aïnouz and producer Rodrigo Teixeira, have my ultimate respect in nailing those aspects so accurately. This film entertained and educated me about that period of time and its culture, which are very unique characteristics I don't often see, but love.

The film is about two inseparable sisters living in Rio de Janeiro during the 1950s, that live under their conservative parents' strict guidance. Even though both sisters are involved in the traditional life that surrounds them, Euridice wants to become a renowned pianist and Guida wants to find true love. When their father separates them and makes them live apart from each other, they work to meet their goals, while hoping that they can reunite one day and celebrate life together, since they are each other's support and joy.

My favorite scene is when Euridice carefully covers for Guida's secret nighttime outings to dance clubs with a Greek sailor. She encourages her sister to not give in to their parents' strict lifestyle and proposes that they should expose themselves to experiences that will fill them with happiness.

The important message that I learned from this film is the importance of how women have fought for their place and equality within a patriarchal society. Before, women were submissive to the patriarch, but as time has passed, society has realized what a huge injustice was being made and corrected the social forms. This movie is very big on showing how times were different back then for women and how thankful we all must be that a turn was made. Young women like Euridice and Guida struggled from an early age to find happiness. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults.

Reviewed by Alejandra G. , KIDS FIRST! Reviewers. For more film reviews by tweens and teens, visit kidsfirst dot org.
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jhcereja8 November 2019
This is a memorable movie, sensational masterpiece!
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me deu depressão
yasmatoss22 September 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Muito bom mas fiquei com agonia dos desencontros das irmãs quase infartei e no final ainda fiquei com depressão chorei recomendo
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raf-3515 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I am bit fed up with the double standard that some autor-films are spoken about. The characters of the movies are 1-dimensional. Or they are infantile patriarchal men or innocent women in a victim role. I assume that that even in the 50's relationships were a bit more complex. The use of camera and music/sounddesign doesn't reach the level of an average student film. Everything was announced and explained, no subtleties, no room for contemplation. The undoubtedly talented actresses were the only point of light in these films. Unfortunately drowned in a plot that not in any moment is believable. When at the end the granddaughter is played clearly by the same actress as the main character the audience in the cinema where I was started to laugh. Couldn't more painfully indicate the state of unbelief in which this film had to be endured.
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Excellent portrayal of characters and an era
opusv519 February 2020
This film is recommendable for its believability, characterizations and recreation (clothes, cars, radios, etc.) of 1950s Rio de Janeiro and an era when a stolid, unfair morality that discriminated against women and minorities was universally practiced. The two Gusmao sisters, daughters of a conservative Portuguese father, have ambitions beyond their background: Euridice dreams of studying piano in Vienna; the fun-loving Guida leaves Brazil with a Greek sailor. Her father is disgusted, and when she returns home alone and pregnant, disowns her. She, too independent to be ashamed, erases him from her life. Yet she tries to keep contact with her sister via letters to her more tolerant mother, who instead hides them. The characters are realistic: Euridice, who conforms to bourgeois life by marrying an unimaginative postal official, still wants to study piano, yet ultimately rejects this option when she discovers their father's harshness to her sister. Meanwhile Guida , a single mother, does what she can to survive. Treated unfairly, she is is no repentant Magdalene: she still enjoys a good time. A major theme to the film is, despite their respective traumas, they inhabit the same city without being aware of it. This ties up decades later in a touching yet believable manner.
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thiagoespeche2 December 2019
This movie should be seen by every man and woman in the world.
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rich in emotion and atmosphere
mjfhhh24 August 2019
Guida and Euidice are two sisters who could not be any more different. Euridice is tall, Guida is short. Euridice is focused, determined and working hard to become a professional pianist, Guida can't think about anything but boys. When a tragic incident separates them the girls are lost without each other but they never give up hope to meet again. A desperate search turns into a journey of a lifetime, when in fact the girls only live a few streets away from each other... will the sisters be able to reunite? And at what cost?

Based on a novel INVISIBLE LIFE offers a very typical plot for Brazilian cinema. Sisters separated by fate is a tagline straight from GLOBO tv channel soap operas that are so popular in Brazil. With a running time of 2h20min the pace is rather slow and the story takes its time to get going. Where the film succeeds is the atmosphere of the 40s Rio, with its walkways, restaurants, and its diminishing Portuguese middle class that can easily slip into extreme hardship and poverty.

Independent director Karim Ainouz is a Cannes darling but has never quite made it into the big league. This feels like a passion project for him and his love for Rio is obvious in every shot. Definitely not for everyone THE INVISIBLE LIFE is rich in emotion and atmosphere. Watch out for a small role from Brazilian acting royalty Fernando Montenegro. Her emotional gut wrenching cameo could be just the reason to see this overlong family saga.
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I was expecting more
borgolarici23 January 2020
This movie has many good things in it: the sisters are very well cast and the acting in general is inspired. Locations, costumes and colors are absolutely on point. I just didn't really enjoy the plot and the script... I understand that this is meant to be a representation of repressive society, but the characters don't act as normal people would and I find it unnerving since this was meant to be a dramatic/realistic movie.
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Average movie
arefe-e8 December 2019
Characters are not that much sympathetic and the rythm is slow, everything is on surface and we couldn't delve to the characters and storylines, mostly I think because of lack of brilliant writing and dialogues. The only character despite the short amount of time was well written and well played was Filomena
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masonfisk1 February 2021
A Brazilian film set in the 1950's which focuses on a pair of sisters who are torn apart by circumstances orchestrated by their own father. One daughter wants to be a concert pianist (she's seen throughout the film studying for a prestigious spot abroad at a music academy) while the other is a wild child who hooks up w/a Greek sailor on leave. One night while the pianist is entertaining the family she will marry into, the wild child sneaks out & effectively elopes w/the sailor leaving the country. Close to a year later, the wild child returns home, having broken up w/the Grecian cad, her father, a strict authoritarian who felt her leaving & returning now w/child was an unconscionable slight against the family, prompts him to reject her & throw her out of the house. Vowing to separate the sisters forever more, he never tells the other sister her sibling had returned. What follows is a gut wrenching odyssey of sisters kept apart for years (we hear one sided voice over narration from the wild child as we hear her letters to the missing sister asking for forgiveness & a possible reconciliation). We ache for a reunion as time marches on & as the ending approaches, the lump in your throat only gets heavier & heavier. Wonderfully acted & impeccably mounted w/a great distinct title credit design that would make Saul Bass or Pablo Ferro proud, this is one for the vaults. Co-starring Fernanda Montenegro (Oscar nominee for Central Station) in a small but pivotal role.
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Deeply heartfelt and an amazing view into a culture.
info-1110011 April 2020
If you're interested in a deep view of Brazilian life and culture, look no further than this wonderful film. The characters are real, they love and fight intensely, the way Brazilians do. This was a wonderful time capsule of Brazil in the 1950's.

I cannot understand the low-ratings from people who won't watch because they won't read subtitles! You've cheated yourself out of an amazing experience.
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Black-and-white feminist epic
b_velkova22 November 2019
After I read the story was about "two sisters each mistakenly believing the other is living out her dreams", I expected a rivalry dynamic causing each sister to try and decieve the other she's doing great. And I was very interested to see this movie. But it turned out to be a black-and-white feminist epic where all men are moronic tyrants and all women - saintly victims supporting each other against the enemy. For better or for worse, real life is much more nuanced and I personally like to decide for myself how I see one situation or another rather than to be fed with sexist perspectives no matter which sex they are coming from! That doesn't mean I don't relate to most of the situations, maybe the most powerful being the one where on a Christmas eve a father says thanks to his daughter for keeping things as usual after the mother has passed away, or basically for taking up her role! I got so furious, I could enter the screen and destroy him on the spot! On the other hand, there is so much ugliness between women too that the perfect sisterly relations portrayed in the movie seem unconvincing to say the least. I know, it's very tiresome to have to decide who the enemy is based on current evidence, but otherwise you risk your freedom every time you decide to trust your prejudice. Because it doesn't matter if you end up in the kitchen with a bunch of children hanging from your apron or performing at the piano if it's not what YOU want.
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The father's wounded proud
asmgodoy29 February 2020
Two sisters. One in Athens, and the other one in Wien. Both, however, actually in Rio de Janeiro. The meeting might be problematic, as if in Athens and in Wien they were, just because in Athens and in Wien they reciprocally believed they could be indeed. In "Invisible Life" the vertex of the plot is the father's wounded proud. The father is a despot. In the edges, one daughter who did not give up her liberty and the other one who did not give up her carrier as pianist. Did they fail? As for the tensions, "Invisible Life" strongly touches chauvinism, indifference, women's social insertion, as well as the systematic limitation to the expansion of women's condition. From the ethical point of view "Invisible Life" is a movie that denounces the feminine oppression. Albeit slightly melodramatic it is movie that enhances the desire of changing life. Arnaldo Godoy (Brazil).
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Memorable Movie!
nihalsharma18 August 2020
What a great movie it is! So beautiful in every sense. It's a very touching journey of two sisters who got separated and had to live separately without knowing each other's existence for a very very long time. Their emotional journey, the struggle and the pain they endure have been filmed so well. The representation of the patriarchy structure of society where the females struggle to live their dreams and how they put their everything for the family, has been shown very nicely. The journey through Brazil of 50's is very beautiful. A must watch!
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the strength of separated sisters
ferguson-612 January 2020
Greetings again from the darkness. Masterful storytelling when combined with expert filmmaking is a treasure to be appreciated and enjoyed, even if the story is not so pleasant. Such is the case with this gem from writer-director Karim Ainouz, who adapted the screenplay with Murilo Hauser and Ines Bortagaray from the novel "The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao" by Martha Bathala. Based in Rio de Janiero, the film blends the vibrant colors of the area with the traditional and restrictive Latin American family expectations of the 1950's.

The story spans 5 or 6 decades, and when we first meet sisters Euridice and Guida, it's clear they share a tight emotional bond that goes deeper than blood. Though their personalities differ greatly, they are both ahead of their time and out of step with the conventions of the era. Euridice (a strong performance by Carol Duarte) longs for independence and aspires to be a concert pianist after a hoped-for Conservatory in Vienna, while Guida (a powerhouse Julia Stockler) is a dreamer seeking true love, and whose party girl ways must be kept hidden from their conservative father. Both young ladies are spirited, yet respectful.

Their lives are forever altered when Guida runs off to Greece with her sailor lover. As is too often the case with young dreamers, she returns home once her spontaneous choices prove to be poor judgment. Her father rejects his pregnant daughter since, in his eyes, she has disgraced the family. The parents mislead Guida about her sister's whereabouts, so Guida assumes Euridice is off at conservatory fulfilling her dreams. This sets Guida off on her own solitary path.

In actuality, Euridice has married and experienced one of the worst ever wedding nights, featuring what is likely cinema's most unsexy bathroom lovemaking scene. There is an element of horror films to this segment of the film, as the sisters are living their worst nightmares, while being separated from each other ... unable to communicate. The male-dominated Latin culture and family traditions prevent their mother from 'disobeying' the father's order, so the cruel lie continues as the sisters unknowingly live their lives within the same town. There is even one excruciatingly painful-to-watch scene that finds them in the same restaurant at the same time, yet oblivious to the presence of the other.

Each woman's inner-strength pushes them forward. Guida (now Gisele) befriends a wise former prostitute Filomena (an excellent Barbara Santos) who becomes her mentor in poverty. Euridice tries to make the best of her situation while keeping her dream alive. Mostly what we have is a tragic story without one specific tragedy - other than the daughter spurned by her father. There are so many moments of pain and frustration, with undelivered mail being among the worst. The film is beautifully shot by cinematographer Helene Louvart, and it reminds us that 'life happens', and it's not all love and Bach. This is an emotional and heart-breaking story, and devotees of The Lifetime Channel will likely be disappointed in the ending. For me, I have no qualms about the emotional wringer the film puts viewers through - even after the opening scene foreshadowing.
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Interesting But Manipulative
paranjapesameer7 January 2021
This movie has some great performances that are unfortunately overshadowed by one dimensional characters and manipulative storytelling. Themes of repressive patriarchy aren't uncommon in modern cinema and they're definitely done better elsewhere. Would still recommend it to anyone who is looking to explore Brazilian cinema as it definitely is a competently made and acted movie, despite some gripes that I had with shot placement and lighting. But if you're looking for a masterpiece, this ain't it.
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Beautifully Frustrating
gg250713 April 2021
This film is a piece of art. The acting, the cinematography and the soundtrack are all great. It will make you sad, though. As a woman, it hits me even harder seeing the amount of injustice these sisters went through. One of the merits of this story is that it showed how much women were oppressed in their daily, middle class lives. There's no evil villain here, these girls are victims of their own society, of their own family, of people who don't even realize the extent of the harm they are causing.

I do think it has its flaws, some pacing issues maybe, but overall it's a great movie that actually made me feel the agony, melancholy and frustration of the characters and reflect about how this was (and unfortunately still is) the reality for many women around the world.
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Must see
aryamv2 April 2021
Loved the movie! I would watch it again! The story is sad, but it's a good one... Also, it's not so predictable and the acting is great!
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Sisters power
Adelejde17 July 2019
Very touching portrait of two sisters in Rio de Janeiro. In the world of men, they want to make their dreams come true. We have here one story about two lives. Very imporant movie which shows how lives of many women looked like in the early fifties. There is no hypocrisy here and the story itself drags us into their world.
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Drama with a sad conclusion
leonidasstathopoulos4 April 2020
An excellent film with a very touching 15' minutes part at the end of it. How a heartless decision can destroy both sisters life? An unpleasant experience
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