23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

Estamira (Non-fiction Features)
2005 - Brazil - 115 minutes

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DIRECTOR: Estamira
CAST: Estamira, children, grandchildren. People of Jardim Gramacho garbage dump

This chilling new documentary from producer Marcos Prado (Bus 174 M-SPIFF 2003), follows Estamira, who works at the hellish Jardim Gramacho dump on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, where the mounds of refuse and the bubbling black swamps sustain the rawest slice of humanity. From this barren, pockmarked landscape where the eerie blue-green light of chemical fires illuminates the nights, Estamira presides as queen over her own universe. "No one can live without Estamira," she proclaims. She is on a quest to seek "the truth," to root out all of the "punsters" who have done her harm. Her family has grown accustomed to her erratic behavior ("She's not crazy, but she's not 100 percent, you see?") and they, like the Brazilian system charged with helping her, seem at a loss to let her be anything but herself, no matter how damaging that might be. Prado reveals Estamira's struggles in painstaking detail and with unsettling cinematography, capturing every wild-eyed, philosophical note she strikes as she rages against reality. Estamira inhabits a world that most of us never knew existed, but after you've seen it, you may never forget that it's there, hanging on by the thinnest of threads at the very outskirts of civilization. MarcosPrado (1961) was producer of Bus 174 (2002) and co-producer of Os Carvoeiros (1999), two famous Brazilian documentaries. Estamira is his début film as director. -AHS

PRODUCER: Marcos Prado, Jose Padilha
MUSIC: Décio Rocha
PRINT SOURCE: Zazen Produções

Saturday, April 09 7pm Crown Theaters Block E
Tuesday, April 12 9:45pm St. Anthony Main Theatre