Ela Bittencourt

Ela Bittencourt is a critic and cultural journalist, currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

Jonas Mekas to Maud Alpi to Lina Rodriguez to Júlio Bressane – highlights from the Swiss film festival

BY Ela Bittencourt | 11 AUG 16

2014 was a great year for cinephiles. The one regret I have is not having seen Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language (2014) in 3D, a film that is said to revolutionize cinema to the point where watching it in 2D, as I did, is pointless. Luckily, as far as 2D pleasures, there were plenty, starting with White Shadow (2013, 2014 release), a stunning debut by Noaz Deshe, so far scantily present on the festival circuit. Berlin and Los Angeles-based Deshe sets his film in Tanzania, inspired by real-life stories of Africa’s albinos, who are mercilessly hunted because their organs are believed to have healing powers. In the film, a young albino, Alias, escapes after his father’s ambush. Alias sells DVDs in a cutthroat city and finds companionship in a rural albino shelter, but is betrayed by his uncle. Deshe’s hallucinatory storytelling and edgy camerawork have a primal power, with a witchdoctor that channels Flannery O’Connor. Deshe stresses the sensory experience, and Alias’ plight is so agonizing, this is the one film whose vision and humanity continue to haunt me.

BY Ela Bittencourt | 02 JAN 15

A report from the 54th Kraków Film Festival

BY Ela Bittencourt | 30 JUN 14