Entirely set in a country-side mansion after the inauguration of former Brazillian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003, Fellipe Barbosa and Clara Linhart’s Domingo explores the excesses of old money and chaos of bourgeois boredom.
Its ingredients include: a heavily pregnant woman, tennis games, home movies of the adult kind, bourgeoning teenage sexuality and too much champagne and amphetamine addictions. It’s a big cast, spanning three generations of a large family with the dramatic tension centred on the non-white serving family. What begins as an innocent summer barbeque descends into chaos. The film is composed of many static frames in which large groups of characters are assembled, a series of crowded tableaux where often nothing is happening, but anarchy constantly threatens.
We wonder how long the family can retain their privilege, the fragility of their grip on power becoming more and more apparent. As we now know, Lula’s government favoured the upper classes; however, at the time of his election, he seemed far more socialist. Domingo captures the hope of the lower classes who imagine a better future for their children across the first weekend of the new year.
His election is often in the background of the serving family’s room, the president farcical himself. Lula is now serving time in prison for corruption and money laundering, and in the past few days has been banned from running again in the October presidential elections – an example of how truth is stranger than fiction.
Political and entertaining, Domingo is definitely worth a watch. It’s an atmospheric exploration of a place that never seems cliché or conventional. Domingo captures the chaos of a moment in time in which socialism in Brazil seemed possible, producing uncanny symmetries with the time of its festival-run.
CAST: Itala Nandi, Ismael Caneppele, Augusto Madeira, Camila Morgado, Joao Henrique Domingues
DIRECTOR: Fellipe Barbosa, Clara Linhart
WRITERS: Lucas Paraizo
SYNOPSIS: Domingo follows a bourgeoisie Brazilian family over New Year’s weekend during the 2003 inauguration of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.