Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
In Gabriel Mascaro’s synapse-triggering, fundamentalist-baiting vision of overly evangelical Brazil circa 2027, crises of faith are serviced at drive-thru churches, failing marriages are resuscitated through group sex, and the faithful find transcendence at the sweat-drenched rave-like Party of Supreme Love.
At the centre of this speculative cocktail are Joana (Dira Paes) and Danilo (Julio Machado), a couple whose travails resonate like a sacred chord. Using her position as notary to act as the last line of defence for the sanctity of marriage, Joana prides herself on her ability to guilt-trip couples out of divorce. Meanwhile, she and Danilo find their own union strained by their inability to conceive. How could the higher powers forsake such faithful servants?
Cheekily labelled a "disco-dystopian drama" by Variety, Divine Love is a big-screen protest placard painted in hot pink and electric blue neon.
"This is yet further proof that the 35-year-old Mascaro is one of the most audacious and gifted filmmakers of his generation… an intelligent and elegant cri de coeur about what’s really at stake in a country where the rights, sexual or otherwise, of everyone who isn’t a married heterosexual trying to procreate are in danger…" - Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter