Dormir de olhos abertos

Sleep with Your Eyes Open
A coastal city in Brazil. Kai arrives on holiday from Taiwan with a broken heart. A malfunctioning air conditioner leads her to end up in Fu Ang’s umbrella shop. He could become a friend, but then the rainy season fails to arrive and the shop closes. While searching for Fu Ang, Kai comes across Xiao Xin and a group of Chinese workers in a fancy high-rise building. Kai finds herself strangely mirrored in Xiao Xin’s story.
This quiet comedy of misunderstandings does not follow a traditional dramaturgy. The protagonists, performed by an ensemble of first-time actors and professionals, come and go unexpectedly. From one unknown city to the next, they follow the demands of their work. But over the course of a hot, slow summer, delicate bonds grow between them like islands in a sea full of sharks.
by Nele Wohlatz
with Chen Xiao Xin, Wang Shin-Hong, Liao Kai Ro, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Lu Yang Zong
Brazil / Taiwan / Argentina / Germany 2024 Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, English 97’ Colour World premiere


  • Chen Xiao Xin (Xiao Xin)
  • Wang Shin-Hong (Fu Ang)
  • Liao Kai Ro (Kai)
  • Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (Leo)
  • Lu Yang Zong (Yang Zong)


Director Nele Wohlatz
Screenplay Nele Wohlatz, Pío Longo
Cinematography Roman Kasseroller
Editing Yann-shan Tsai, Ana Godoy
Sound Design Mercedes Tennina, Duu-Chih Tu
Sound Javier Farina
Production Design Diogo Hayashi
Costumes Rita Azevedo
Producers Emilie Lesclaux, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Justine O., Roger Huang, Violeta Bava, Rosa Martínez Rivero, Meike Martens, Nele Wohlatz
Executive Producers Dora Amorim, Maurício Macedo

Nele Wohlatz

The filmmaker was born in Germany in 1982 and studied scenography and philosophy at the University of Applied Arts in Karlsruhe and film at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, where she lived for 12 years. Her films have screened at festivals including Locarno, Rotterdam, the Viennale, Mar del Plata International Film Festival and at institutions including the Lincoln Center and MoMA in New York. Her debut feature film The Future Perfect won multiple awards and was selected by over 70 international film festivals.


2013 La mochila perfecta (The Perfect Backpack); documentary 2014 Ricardo Bär; short documentary 2016 Tres oraciones sobre la Argentina (Three Sentences about Argentina); short documentary · El futuro perfecto (The Future Perfect) 2021 Turista (Tourist); documentary 2024 Dormir de olhos abertos (Sleep with Your Eyes Open)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024