ACTIVISM: The Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro is a prism onto a country in economic and political crisis.
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: May 6, 2019

For a few years now, Brazil has been making headlines as a nation in deep political and economic crisis. The imprisonment of wildly popular leftist president Lula on corruption charges and the impeachment of his successor Dilma Rousseff opened the way for Michel Temer to take over in what many deemed a coup. His low approval ratings paved the way for the election last year of Jair Bolsonaro, a man nostalgic for the brutal years of dictatorship.

Directed by Vincent Rimbaux and Patrizia Landi, Ressaca offers up the on-goings at Rio de Janeiro’s grand opera Theatro Municipal as a new prism onto this turmoil. Ressaca takes its title from a Portuguese word meaning both rough seas, and a hangover. The film is a rousing call to resistance against a rising tide of right-wing forces to all who recognise cultural heritage as the beating heart of a city’s collective spirit and memory.

«It’s tough to see the city decline like this»

The documentary takes us inside the gorgeous Theatro Municipal, its architecture echoing the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris, its gleaming floors shot in elegant black-and-white. It’s here that the dancers practice for long hours, and the picture is one of an almost sacred space away from the busy streets for their passion and dedication.

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