A life in isolation filled with stories of adventure outside, until an adventure in the shape of a man knocks at the door, carrying too a story about his past.
From the Rapazote twins we know Corte (2020), whose international premiere took place at the Cannes Festival in the year of the pandemic. Hence, it is curious that the next film of this duo begins with fever, in a curious analogy with the disease. And what about going back to the beginning and saying that the youth of these two boys is not felt at any moment of the film? If from Manoel de Oliveira we were constantly boasting about his youthfulness of thought and direction, let me invert the game and say that intellectual and linguistic maturity and the (impossible) experience in directing are his “weapons”. In Maria João’s Fever we travel to the 19th century, to the time of the mule drivers and the liberal wars. We are in a single performance space but we have not been to the theatre. It is the mastery of the camera that guides us through the (well) hidden secrets of that stage. And it is in the certainty of the text (as in Corte) that the film unravels, unravels, unleashes, revealing remarkable performances by actors directed with the assurance of a master. We must also add that the mark of an author is in the details and here it is surprising how it is all there, without being seen, without being flamboyant or exhibitionist. The Rapazote twins are light bearers (Miguel Valverde)