Analysis Saturday Matinees Preview

Saturday Matinees Preview: When the Time to Remember was Done (2021)

Director: Felipe Quadra

Writer: Victor Rosa and Felipe Quadra

Cast: Pedro Jose Ben, Gladstone Arantes & Nayara Tamarozi

Running time: 20mins

Film festivals cost money to run – in fact they often run at a loss. That makes granting fee waivers difficult. As a result, filmmakers who already struggle to have their voices heard are often further marginalised.

Movies by artists from low-income backgrounds, opposition groups hit by censorship, or told by individuals in nations hit by international sanctions, still need a platform. This year, Indy Film Library is looking to provide them with one.

Over the next six weeks, the first season of our Saturday Matinees will showcase work from Brazil, Iran, Egypt and other places where monetary and legal constraints have prevented the free communication of political and social issues.

The first film in the series comes from Felipe Quadra, in Brazil. When the Time to Remember was Done is a film taking place in the wake of deadly floods which hit Rio in 2011 – these prompted catastrophic mudslides, leading to a reported 901 deaths and displacing thousands more people. With the increasing effects of climate change, this is becoming a regular occurrence and over 230 people also lost their lives in two spates of floods and landslides in the mountainous region of Fluminense in February and March this year.

There is more at play here than remembering the losses of 2011, however. Struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife, Henrique (Pedro Jose Ben) refuses to leave their condemned house – beneath a groaning uprooted tree, which he believes is keeping her memory alive.

The film has shades of The Fountain – examining the damage that can be done when someone fails to reconcile with their past trauma on a personal level – but it also explores a Brazil on the edge of an even darker chapter. With trust in the political process eroded by numerous crises, hard-right opportunists are waiting in the wings to finally bring down the rotting tree entirely.

In his note to Indy Film Library, director Felipe Quadra explained, “Today it’s not just the Amazon Forest that burns in Brazil. Our country, known worldwide for its nature and creativity, sees the beauty and qualities that we are so proud of being erased day after day. There is a political-ideological project from the President, Jair Bolsonaro, so that not only the natural heritage is extinguished, but also our culture, in all its manifestations.

“This difficult reality is added to the fact that we are investing our own resources and fighting against a serious economic crisis. In addition, there is a huge currency disparity against the US dollar and, in the specific case of our project, the high amount invested in subscriptions because of the currency, almost makes our presence at festivals impossible.”

When the Time to Remember was Done is abstract in its delivery and, as such, might leave a lot of its cultural and political commentary a little on the vague side. At the same time, using a woman’s death to embody some broader social injustice is a mechanism which male story-tellers have needed to lean on less for centuries. But overall, this is a patient, measured and subtly acted piece, which takes an interesting, non-didactic, route into social commentary, making it a fine starting point for our Saturday Matinees.

The film will be available to view for free in full from 09:00 UK time on Saturday 21st May, until the end of the weekend, via our Saturday Matinees theatre page. As the film is still trying to gain access to other festivals, the page is password protected. Use the code IFLMATINEE2223 to access the film.

Stay tuned for another film next week!

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