Desire runs through this film as the titular Dry Wind (Vento Seco) does through its setting: rural mid-western Brazil, where Sandro (Leandro Faria Lelo) follows his monotonous daily routine. Working at the big fertilising company nearby, expeditions to the local supermarket, and dips in the pool offer glimpses of a life with little variety. It’s only desire which seems to make Sandro’s existence bearable. 

Director Daniel Nolasco and his cinematographer Larry Machado let the camera become an observer, mirroring the protagonist’s gaze when not following closely behind, raking across men’s bodies and lingering provocatively on their crotches, both covered and not. The queer male gaze, as demonstrated here, is a startling and fascinating thing, for the general audience is much more used to the objectification of the female form. But Sandro’s desire is shown in great, elaborate detail, documenting his sexual encounters both real and imagined with pornographic explicitness – from illicit meetings with his colleague after work to psychosexual dream sequences often featuring bondage situations. 

This hardly comes as a surprise considering the director’s previous works count among them a documentary on Brazil’s search for its ‘Mr. Leather’. The artistic intention behind Dry Wind, however, is always clear: erotic scenes are juxtaposed with sweeping landscape shots as well as the monotony of work among mountains of dusty grain. Bold colours and neon light are becoming a recognizable feature of recent Brazilian films, and Nolasco uses this aesthetic, paired with a memorable soundtrack, to establish a direct line to giallo films; yet the film lacks the narrative tension which runs through the Italian crime thriller genre, and might have benefited from a clearer structure – particularly in the latter half. 

Dry Wind‘s powerful and unabashed representation of homosexuality is momentous, all the more so when viewed against the backdrop of Brazil’s current political climate. While this film certainly won’t be to everyone’s liking, its force is undeniable.



CAST: Leandro Faria Lelo, Allan Jacinto Santana, Renata Carvalho, Rafael Theophilo

DIRECTOR: Daniel Nolasco

WRITER: Daniel Nolasco

SYNOPSIS: The area around Catalan in Brazil’s state of Goiás is dry, very dry. Sandro’s life here is somewhat monotonous. He works in a fertiliser factory, goes swimming and spends his evenings doing jigsaw puzzles of landscapes. Sandro has a purely sexual relationship with his colleague Ricardo.