The Fever

Maya Da-Rin

IndieLisboa 2020 •

Brazil, France, Germany, Fiction, 2019, 98′

The film that won Locarno’s FIPRESCI award in 2019 is a drama about the pressures of a modern and urban lifestyle. The first fiction film of the Brazilian director Maya Da-Rin focuses on the life of Justino (Regis Myrupu), a middle-aged native widower, that works in the port of Manaus. When his daughter tells him that she wants to go and study nursing in the city of Brasilia he starts having strange fevers…

Justino is a 45-year-old Desana indigenous man who works as a watchman in the cargo port of Manaus, an industrial city surrounded by the Amazon rainforest. Since the death of his wife, his daughter has been his main companion. However, Vanessa, who works as a nurse, is accepted to study medicine in Brasília, and has to leave Justino. Faced with this information and feeling oppressed by the industrial city, Justino enters a languid and feverish state and begins to suspect that a mysterious creature is following him around. The enigmatic origin of its condition and the mysterious presence of the forest, creates a dreamlike atmosphere that infects the viewer with the same feverish sensation. Justino tells the story of a man whose deep connection with the natural world makes him suspicious of the predatory instincts of humans. In this sense, A Febre is inscribed as a fantasy, or a ghostly story. This is felt mainly due to the hybrid work of fiction crossed with non-actor characters, which challenges the viewer’s perception of the film’s magical realism. (Inês Lima Torres)