The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, The: Brazil’s Entry for Best International Film Oscar

Karim Aïnouz’s latest film, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, has been selected to represent Brazil in the international Film Oscar race.

Winner of Un Certain Regard prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Fest, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is adapted from a novel by Martha Batalha and follows two sisters born in Rio de Janeiro who have been separated for decades by familial shame.

While his film delved into the condition of women in the 1950’s, “it’s not a feminist film” but an “anti-patriarchal film.”  The movie is a tribute to the courageous generation of women to which his mother belongs.

When he started developing the film in 2015, Aïnouz had no idea how much it would resonate in contemporary Brazil. “These issues have become important and relevant to Brazil today,” Aïnouz said.

Alluding to Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, who recently halted funding for films with LGBT themes, Aïnouz said it would have been much harder to finance “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao” today because “a lot of queer subjects are censored.”

His aim with “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao” was to make a popular film that can reach large audience.

Aïnouz conducted widespread search into the theater and cinema worlds to “find the right people for the right role” — which is “90% of the job” as a filmmaker.

He asked the actresses to do a three-minute fixed shot of them peeling potatoes to find singular faces and bodies.

Aïnouz is developing a script about a story inspired by his father’s experience during the Algerian war for independence.  The film will be a sort of “travel diary” tracing back the struggle of Algerians to gain independence, set against a complex political backdrop.