(How Angels are Born)
Dir: Murilo Salles
97 min., 35mm, 1:1.85, Color
Produktion: Empório de Cinema/RioFilme, Murilo Salles, Clßudio Kahns, Rômulo Marinho jr. Buch: Murilo Salles, Jorge Durßn, Agnaldo Silva, Nelson Nadotti. Kamera: César Charlone. Musik: Victor Biglione. Ausstattung: Marlise Storchi. Schnitt: Isabelle Rathery, Vicente Kubrusly. Ton: Mark A. van der Willigen.
Darsteller: Larry Pine, Priscila Assum, Silvio Guindane, Ryan Massey, André Mattos, Maria Silvia.
Uraufführung: 20. August 1996, Festival von Gramado/Brasilien.
Weltvertrieb: Empório de Cinema. Av. Ataulfo de Paiva 1251/ 304, Rio de Janeiro/Brasilien. Tel. (55-21) 512 20 98, Fax; (55-21) 239 36 30.
Sun 16.02. 18:45 Kino 7 im Zoo Palast Wed 19.02. 11:00 Delphi Sat 22.02. 15:00 Babylon
The trio gets into the house after all. Here the North American lives with his daughter, Julie, and the maid, Conceição. All six people become hostage to a peculiar situation, a mix of nonsense and threat. The story ends surprisingly.
Question: How did the idea for COMO NASCEM OS ANJOS come about?
Murilo Salles: The film came into being out of my concern for people in misery. Going out into the street, seeing hungry children begging for food. But I didn't want to make a film about street children, because that would have been opportunistic, a reaction to the worldwide interest in this issue. I had to find a different approach and a different form. I remembered the contributions to recent Brazilian film history: starting with Cinco Vezes Favela (Five Times Favela), a film which was produced at the beginning of the Cinema Novo of the sixties; Rio Zona Norte (Rio Northern District) by Nelson Pereira dos Santos and O Anjo Nasceu (The Angel is Born) by Júlio Bressane and Pixote (Jaws of the Asphalt) by Hector Babenco. Bressane's film in particular became very important for my work. His film deals with two adult gangsters who are fleeing from the police and finally invade a house, taking the owner and her maid as hostages. I appropriated this structure and developed a different story and a different narrative.
Question: The film deals with misery and is therefore quite different from mainstream Brazilian films.
Murilo Salles: In COMO NASCEM OS ANJOS conflict arises due to accident not social pressure. The leftist press critized its lack of social concern. This has become such a commonplace in Brazilian film history. I think it detracts from an important emphasis on content. I can't stand films about misery which are constructed like sociological treatises. If you allow humour into the misery, the emotions really float to the top. I learned from Buñuel that you mustn't have pity with the protagonist. Brazilian cinema usually assumes that everybody, actors as well as directors are badly off. I think the discussion ,Colonized vs. colonizer' is finished. There are no two ways about it: we have been colonized! If something new is to be created out of this, then only if one accepts this as a fact.
Question: Is that the meaning of the sequence when the boy from the Favela identifies with the rich North American when he finds a CD with Rap music in her room?
Murilo Salles: Yes. The Favela's revenge will be the revenge of culture. Today, the daughters of the middle class listen to Funk music from the hill of misery. The daughter of one of my friends is dating a guy from the Favela whom she met at a Funk party. There are also lots of satellite dishes in the Favela. Teenagers watch MTV and NBA Basketball games on television. This creates an identification with North American Blacks who have found a social niche in North America which our society doesn't offer.
Question: This connection doesn't solve the conflict.
Murilo Salles: COMO NASCEM OS ANJOS is primarily a film about non-communication. Like the relationship between Whites and Indios. Mutual respect is the greatest. But it is ridiculous to think one could civilize the Indio without destroying his culture. There is no communication between the social classes. It's either rule or be ruled. There is nothing in between. There is no communication...!
Question: Many films of the much praised new Brazilian Cinema are conceived with a foreign market in mind and use foreign actors to attract an audience. Is this the case with your two North American actors?
Murilo Salles: No. If the house owners were Brazilians one fundamental element would be lost: the foreignness between the two parties concerned. It results in a more innocent, more careful relationship and in an enormous difficulty in the dialogue. The film would be harsher, more violent. Anyhow, I chose a North American actor who was supposed to talk Portuguese. I am against using Brazilians who will talk English with North American actors. Like the entire cast, Larry Pine is an excellent actor, a courageous man who assumed a role in a different language, who is not that well-known with a foreign audience. Ryan Massey made her debut as an actress. There was no marketing strategy, just the necessities of the narrative.
Murilo Salles was born in 1950 in Rio de Janeiro. From 1970 he worked as a cameraman for Lição de Amor (1975) by Eduardo Escorel, Dona Flor e Sues Dois Maridos (1976) by Bruno Barreto, Eu Te Amo (1980) by Arnaldo Jabor. He directed the documentaries Estas Sao as Armas (1978) about Mozambique and Two Billion Hearts (1994) about the soccer world championship as well as the feature films Nunca Fomos Tão Felizes (1984), Faca de Dois Gumes (1990) and COMO NASCEM OS ANJOS (1996).
© 1997 by International Forum of New Cinema. All rights reserved.