Archive image of Brazilian director Aly Muritiba. EFE / Javier Etxezarreta
Sao Paulo, Nov 15 (EFE) .- After reconciling life between prison and cinema for years, the director and former prison guard Aly Muritiba can take Brazil to the Oscar again, more than two decades after the last nomination, with ” Deserto Particular “, chosen to represent the country in the dispute for the best foreign film.
Before building a career in film, Muritiba, 42, went through several cities and practiced the most diverse trades, from selling tickets in the Sao Paulo metro to acting as a prison guard for years in a prison in the metropolitan region of São Paulo. Curitiba, in the south of the country.
Immersing himself in the universe of cinema, as he recalls in a telematic interview with Efe, was nothing more than an attempt to break and escape the “coldness” of his routine.
“(In prison) you really have to be tough, create certain mechanisms of emotional and psychic protection. But the armor that I was creating to be able to resist the daily life of that place started to bother me,” so he decided to enter a university and study cinema, remember.
But the director considers that the seven years he spent as a warden were “decisive” in becoming the filmmaker he is today: it was thanks to the harshness of the prison that he understood the “complexity of human existence” and the importance of dialogue.
“If you don’t know how to dialogue, negotiate, if you don’t have a good capacity for argumentation, diplomacy, you literally die,” he synthesizes.
It was precisely the similarity between reality and fiction – or “between the prison and the film set” – that led to the development of a unique line in Muritiba’s works, whose stories, narratives and characters pass through various layers of depth. .
In “Deserto Particular”, which will premiere on the 25th and was chosen to represent Brazil in the Oscars 2022, in addition to winning the public award in Venice, Daniel is a police officer tormented by a labor error who crosses the country in search of Sara, a woman with whom he is related virtually and disappeared in a mysterious way.
It doesn’t take long for the protagonists to be forced to deal with their dilemmas, prejudices, affections, and even sexuality.
“Daniel is that guy who comes from an environment where I lived for many years, which is a conservative, authoritarian, control and brutalizing environment,” he says.
As well as the essence of the characters, many of the elements portrayed in “Particular Desert” refer to an affective memory of the director, who assures that he never thought of making a living from the cinema, although the vocation for the arts has always circulated through his veins.
Born in Mairi, a small town of 19,000 inhabitants in the backlands of Bahia, Muritiba was able to learn books, music and theater through two priests from the Pastoral de Juventud.
In adolescence, together with some friends, he created a film club, a theater group, a carnival troupe and the region’s first black beauty pageant, which is still alive today.
And, if social issues were always part of his life, with work it would be no different.
Beyond love, “Deserto Particular” also covers themes such as the LGTB community, religious prejudice, the toxicity of male passions or the idealization of romantic relationships.
“Addressing these issues in the film was like walking a tightrope over a cliff all the time. Because we deal with very sensitive issues that have been the target of very heated discussions,” he clarifies.
Another meeting point between the film and Muritiba’s personal trajectory lies in his adventures: while the protagonist travels to the other side of the country to find love, the director took flight even in adolescence and dropped his anchor at the other end of Brazil.
The son of a truck driver and a housewife, he left the northeastern region for Sao Paulo, but a rapturous passion led him to Curitiba, where he now resides with his two children.
And although the management never made part of its aspirations, it was precisely in Curitiba, a city traditionally known for its freezing temperatures, where it found its salvation buoy in the cinema.
“It was the cinema that saved me and, as for me cinema is love, it was the cinema and love that saved me from being brutalized,” he says.