Directed by Petra Costa, (Brazil, 2012) 80min
Introduction by Professor Tori Langland (University of Michigan)
Elena, a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with dreams of becoming an actress. She leaves behind a childhood spent in hiding during the military dictatorship, and she leaves behind Petra, her seven-year old sister. Two decades later, Petra goes to New York to pursue acting... and in search of Elena. But the film (and the filmmaker) cannot escape the similarities between Petra and Elena’s stories, and as they overlap, they begin to blur.
In the spirit of “Tarnation”, “Elena” obliterates the line between documentary, diary, and fever dream, and is at once captivating and devastating. From executive producers Tim Robbins and Fernando Meirelles, “Elena” is one of the most successful documentaries of all time in Brazil. Intimate in style, “Elena” delves into the abyss of one family's drama, revealing at once the inspiration that can be born from tragedy.
Co-sponsored by: Brazil Initiative / Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies • LSA • International Institute • African Studies Center • Department of Afro-American and African Studies • Institute for the Humanities • Department of Romance Languages and Literatures • Sheldon Cohn Fund / Department of Screen Arts and Cultures • Center for European Studies.
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