Director: Alê Abreu
Cast: Vinicius Garcia, Felipe Zilse, Alê Abreu, Lu Horta, Marco Aurélio Campos
Brazilian filmmaker Alê Abreu’s Boy and the World (2013) comes to India more than two years after it played in the Half Ticket section of the Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), but it really is a film for all time. It might be designed to represent the vibrant and violently colourful South American nation, but it really represents the universal concept of existence – of humanity, as well as the environments that try to categorize humanity. Time and again we’ve seen the movies wax eloquent about the unforgiving circularity of life and evolution; Boy and the World, though, is perhaps the purest and most inventive audiovisual manifestation of this thought. It is, for lack of a better term, the most optimistic tragedy I’ve ever seen. And heard. And, at some points, even lived through.
The film’s animation is hybrid: that is, part hand-drawn/colored and part digital. But its images are incredibly imaginative and evocative – almost as if a series of famous paintings from a generational stick-art museum were made to simulate motion through a kaleidoscopic flipbook. Its wordlessness has a chaotic sound to it – the few lines and signposts are actually Portuguese in reverse – one that signifies the futility of language in regions jammed with overlapping voices.
It starts, of course, as most stories usually do, with an emotion: a village boy, who sets out on a cinematic journey, in search of his city-bound father. He is both animated, and animated