The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão
A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Karim Aïnouz’s (Madame Satã) stylish, colour-saturated "tropical melodrama" begins in 1950s Rio de Janeiro and spans decades in the lives of two sisters cruelly kept apart by familial and machista cultural forces. Straight-laced and proper Eurídice (Carol Duarte) and freedom-loving Guida (Julia Stockler) are inseparable in their teens. But when Guida elopes to Athens with a Greek sailor, she is disowned by severe father Manuel (Antonio Fonseca) and docile mother Ana (Flávia Gusmão), and Manuel conspires to keep Eurídice – for whom there is still hope, in his eyes, of a traditional life - from ever having contact with Guida again.
Aïnouz plays with telenovela tropes but does so with deadly serious intent. While his gorgeous visuals - the film is pure pleasure for the eyes - evoke a world that fans of Douglas Sirk will revel in, his decidedly feminist slant helps him fashion a searing critique of a misogynist culture where duplicity in the service of propriety is the norm. To this end, he is aided enormously by Duarte and Stockler’s wonderful performances as women who take decidedly different paths, but who both find the inner strength to survive. This is a tale of "high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de Janeiro." - Guy Lodge, Variety
Un Certain Regard Prize, Cannes 19