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[Sopro] simply life itself

[Sopro] simply life itself

From the vastness of Brazilians forests to the microcosm of a rural village, Sopro is halfway between the fantasy of the landscape and the raw reality. Portrait of a Brazil in its full humanity.

Nestled in the heart of a community of farmers, Marcos Pimentel’s camera explores life, death, childhood, nature, in a single documentary, both disconcerting, moving, and sometimes violent. A violence that we perceive right from the beginning of this introspection into the depths of Brazil, when a close-up focuses on a bleeding carcass, around which wild dogs and other carnivors whip up a feast. The head of a dead cow, and the wind as the soundtrack. Nature is standing right here, in front of our eyes, vast, biting, sometimes silent, sometimes howling. And this omnipresent wind is the only narrator of this movie.

This wind, this whisper, the one of life ? The one of nature ? A common thread on which we hang by to go out to meet men and women, humbly living on a farm, living with the vagaries of nature and to the rhythm of daily labour.

A discreet camera

Pimentel alternates between long shots of the forest and intimate close-ups. The zoom scrutinises the slightest wrinkle on an old lady’s face, the slightest smile or children’s look playing up in the plains. The intrusion of the camera is so discreet that we could almost believe that we are watching these people without their knowledge. Until one of them stares at us. Without any hatred, any surprise either, just an honest and direct look, which alone, gives all of the poetic and hard-hitting dimension to this documentary.

The succession of long shots blends the rhythm of the villagers’ life and the rhythm of nature, which are in perfect osmosis. The daily work at the farm follows seasons and weather. Death proceeds births and we let ourselves being soothed into the slowness of the shots, sometimes focusing on hands working wood, on lights coming through windows, leaky roofs, or on flames of a candle flickering and uncertain as those of existence.

Watching everyday life

Pimentel sketches, on screen, the portrait of life, pure and simple. In this daily life, the singing of birds gives way to an old man and his early ablutions, then the game of innocent children. Few or no words, no music heard except that of the village fair.

The director’s bias shows radicalism with documentary-defying laws. The succession of shots alone, almost silent, forms the whole narrative framework. Sopro is a free vision of a slice of life and goes far beyond an informative and condescending movie, by showing people of modest means.


Céline Gardet

Marie Colin – Translation

Fiche Technique
Film & Réalisateur: Sopro de  Marcos Pimentel
Durée: Documentaire, 35mm
Pays  : Brésil
Année  : 2013
Durée  : 73 min
Première diffusion  : Jeudi 21 novembre au Katorza à 13 h 30