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Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury (Uma Historia de Amor e Fúria)

Movie Details

  • Genre: Animation, SciFi/Fantasy
  • Running Time: 98 min.
  • Director: Luiz Bolognesi
  • Cast: Selton Mello, Camila Pitanga, Rodrigo Santoro
  • Producer: Marcos Barreto
  • Writer: Luiz Bolognesi

"My heroes never became statues. They died fighting against the guys from the statues." Those lines, fittingly similar to a Public Enemy lyric, are spoken by the six-centuries-old hero of the animated Rio 2096 as he recounts the history of Brazil from the vantage point of the year 2096. Born in 1566 in what would eventually become Rio de Janeiro, Tupinambá Indian warrior Abeguar was chosen by the gods to lead his people against the forces of oppression, which first appear here in the form of the French and Portuguese. To arm him in his battle, he's been given the ability to fly; traveling with him through time is the love of his life, Janaína, a fierce warrior in her own right. Writer-director Luiz Bolognesi's film doesn't push the envelope in terms of technique or style, but its fast-moving story roils with a righteous anger that is mesmerizing as Bolognesi whips up a Zelig-like overview of Brazil's tortured history (the arrival of the colonialists, genocide of the natives, introduction of African slaves, and slave revolts, right on to the brutality of the political uprisings of 1968 and the creation of favelas) and a prophecy of a grim future in which the wealthy live in cities in the sky while the poor fight for poisoned water on the ground. What makes the film radical is its insistence that love must be at the core of the pushback, while owning up to the reality that love has a cost and isn't always enough -- but is itself worth dying for.

Ernest Hardy

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