Berlinale

Girimunho (Swirl)

Synopsis
In the backlands of Minas Gerais, where time seems to pass at the river’s pace, two elderly women keep the whirlwind of life in full swirl. Bastú has just lost her husband, but tearlessly seeks comfort in daily life and memory. But it is in the freedom of dreams and the freshness brought by her grandchildren that she manages to work her own transformation. Helping her through it is Maria, whose drum pounds with all the joy and power of her people, beating out the sounds of other places and resounding with a presence that can never die. In this world, where tradition is ambushed by novelty and reality by invention, small shifts steep the flow of life in fantasy.

Director’s Note
After the death of her husband, the blacksmith Feliciano, Bastú looks to everyday life and her own memories for the elements that will help her through this upheaval. Accompanying her feelings, her way of seeing the world and of reinventing life, the film follows her transformation in the company of her grandchildren and her friend Maria do Boi, a strong elder whose drum keeps the beat of her people’s traditions.
Though centered on the predicament of its main character, the film incessantly strays into other stories unfolding in São Romão, a sleepy little town on the banks of the São Francisco River. A place of searing sun, gnarled tree trunks and stark shadows, the endlessly running waters of the river, the red earth and wasteland feel of the landscape create a setting of arid beauty.
Stories, perceptions, beliefs and novelties reveal the transformations of time and the world, allowing the film to roam with all the freedom of a dream, flitting between the reality and the rich oneiric tapestry of the backlands of Minas Gerais.
Like Bastú herself, Girimunho is in search of the joyful levity of life. It is a film built of little stories and small shifts capable of steeping the everyday in fantasy


World premiere
Venice Film Festival 2011, Orizzonti

Festivals & Awards (selection)
Venice Film Festival (Interfilm Award)
Toronto International Film Festival
San Sebastian International Film Festival
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Valdivia International Film Festival

Brazil 2011
Director: Helvecio Marins Jr., Clarissa Campolina
Producers: Teia Produções (Brazil), Dezenove Som e Imagem (Brazil), Eddie Saeta (Spain)
German Producer: Autentika Films
World sales: Urban Distribution International

Funded in the WCF Jury meeting in July 2011
Funding amount: 30,000 €