A YOUNG BRIDE IN 19TH CENTURY COLONIAL BRAZIL FACES CHALLENGES BEYOND HER YEARS IN THE HAUNTING DEBUT FEATURE FROM FILMMAKER DANIELA THOMAS
Exploring the fraught intersection of feminism, colonialism, and race that has persisted across centuries and continents, the stirring drama VAZANTE marks the solo directorial debut of Brazilian filmmaker Daniela Thomas.
In Southeastern Brazil in 1821, white drover turned farmer Antonio (Adriano Carvalho) returns from a trading expedition to discover that his wife and baby have died in labor. Living on his expansive but desolate property that he fails to cultivate, in the company of his aging mother-in-law (Juliana Carneiro Da Cunha) and numerous African slaves, Antonio’s marries his deceased wife’s young niece, Beatriz (Luana Nastas). Separated from her family and left alone on the rugged farmhouse in the Brazilian mountains when her husband departs on business, child bride Beatriz finds solace in the displaced and oppressed inhabitants around her, all of whom are growing openly restless.
Prior to VAZANTE, filmmaker Thomas frequently partnered with Walter Salles, writing and co-directing the acclaimed features, Foreign Land (1996), Midnight (1998) and Linha de Passe (2008). With VAZANTE, which is shot in expressive black-and-white by the award-winning cinematographer Inti Briones, Thomas finally brings to fruition a project that she and co-writer/co-producer Beto Amaral took nearly ten years to write and six to produce.
“The original story [of VAZANTE], inspired by family lore, unfolds around the difficulty of culture to contain the force of desire,” says filmmaker Daniela Thomas on the genesis of her film. “It shows miscegenation, the driving force in the development of society in Brazil, sprouting on one side from the usual spurious relationships and on the other from true undaunted love and its tragic result. I wished to depict misplacements, loneliness, and rebirth in a land that was both virgin and scarred by exploitation.”
“And at the very core of VAZANTE would lie Brazil’s shameful, violent sin: slavery –the condition that undermines the humanity of all, including the masters,” she adds.
Following its recent theatrical rollout to the U.S.’s top markets and its exhibition at major film festivals in Berlin, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Mumbai, Palm Springs, and Haifa, VAZANTE will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD (iTunes, Amazon Instant, GooglePlay, Vudu and YouTube) for the first time beginning May 22nd. The Blu-ray and DVD includes a Masterclass with director Daniela Thomas at Princeton University’s Brazil LAB among its bonus features.
More information on VAZANTE may be found on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at http://www.musicboxfilms.com/vazante