MARS ONE (MARTE UM)
(director/writer: Gabriel Martins; cinematographer: Leonardo Feliciano; editors: Thiago Ricarte/Gabriel Martins; music: Daniel Simitan; cast: Cicero Lucas (Deivinho), Carlos Francisco (Wellington), Camilla Damião (Eunice), Ana Hilario (Joana), Rejane Faria (Tercia), Russo APR (Flavio), Dircinha Macedo (Dircinha), Tokinho (Himself), Juan Pablo Sorrin (Himself); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Thiago Macêdo Correia, André Novais Oliveira, Gabriel Martins, Maurilio Martins: Magnolia Pictures; 2022-Brazil-in Portuguese with English subtitles)
“A heartfelt tale about an economic struggling Black Brazilian lower-middle-class family.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Gabriel Martins in his debut feature as a director tells a semi-autobiographical story that’s a heartfelt tale about an economic struggling Black Brazilian lower-middle-class family that must deal with their personal problems and that their country just elected a right-wing government they oppose because it favors the upper-class.
The right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro upsets the family of the domestic Tercia (Rejane Faria, her great performance carries the film). She’s the strong mom in a Black family who is upset because the Prez will be bad for their family economically and socially. Family members include her former alcoholic now sober, the soccer-obsessed husband Wellington (Carlos Francisco), a good man with flaws, who is a maintenance/security worker in a luxury building (the one that houses the soccer star Juan Pablo Sorin); their soccer loving middle-school student son, Deivinho (Cícero Lucas), who despite his love for soccer yearns for a career in astrophysics–specifically because of the Mars One colonization project (the reason for the title), and their college student daughter Eunice (Camilla Souza), studying law, who while exploring her sexuality finds out she prefers women to men.
The film takes its time telling us about each family member.
Eunice’s affair with her lover, Joana (Ana Hilario), gets special attention. As the family is more concerned that she wants to move out and live with Joana than if she’s a lesbian (though all the members would prefer if she was straight).
The relationship between the dreamy-eyed brother and the bold big sister, gives the film its Mojo. The hard-pressed family exists so well during these hard times because of their family strength, lack of gender or class bias, and an ability to love each other despite differences (their loving nature makes them so likeable, which seems to be the point of the film).
It played at Sundance.
REVIEWED ON 2/9/2022 GRADE: B