by Maya Da-Rin
Brazil / France
The forest may be a mysterious place for some. The city, a mysterious place for others.
In Manaus, an industrial city surrounded by the Amazon rainforest, the New Year’s Eve is drawing closer and the heavy rains of December give no respite. Justino, a 45 years old Amerindian, works as a security guard at a cargo port and lives in a small house on the outskirts of town. Since the death of his wife, his only company has been his youngest daughter Vanessa, but she will be leaving soon to study medicine in Brasília.
Stuck between the city, where he never quite fits in, and his village, from where he left over 20 years ago, Justino finds himself condemned to an existence without place. In his dreams, a creature wanders lost through the forest. During the day, he strives to stay focused at work. As time goes by, he is taken by a high fever, whose cause the doctors are not able to identify. Vanessa, in turn, finds herself divided between the desire to become a doctor and the decision to leave her father, sick, in Manaus.
Meanwhile, Justino’s nightmares become a media event: the television news alerts that a wild animal has been seen prowling around the neighborhood, what turns into a collective panic. Confused and taken by the fever, Justino kills the animal that haunts him. The next morning, however, the television reports that a man was found dead in the same place.
DIRECTOR – BIO
Maya Da-Rin was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1979. She studied Design and Philosophy of Art at the Pontifical Catholic University as well as attended film workshops at the Cuban Film School. In 2010 she moved to France to take part in the Le Fresnoy, where she graduated with honors, and in 2013 she has been an artist in residence at the LABoral Art Center, in Spain. Her films and video installations have been shown and awarded at film festivals and art institutions such as Locarno, DokLeipzig, Toulouse, Guadalajara, São Paulo Art Biennial, MoMA and New Museum NY. She is currently preparing her first feature film, The Fever, selected at TorinoFilmLab’ Script&Pitch and FrameWork, the Cinéfondation residence, Cannes’ La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde and awarded by the Hubert Bals Fund for script and development.
DIRECTOR – INTENTION
The initial idea for this film emerged during the shooting of two documentaries that I directed in the Amazon. During this period, I met several indigenous families who had left their traditional territories deep in the forest, to live in the cities. I also met a new generation of urban Indians; a youth who had no longer a close relation with their villages. The stories they told me about their experience reveal the complex and tense relationship between indigenous cultures and Western civilization, which has marked Brazilian history since colonial times.