The Rat Herb

  • 80'
  • Brazil
  • 2008
Júlio Bressane is a very unusual director. He may live in a different time and in a different world from most people. More than ten years ago (in 1998) the festival dedicated a retrospective to his fascinating work, which is occasionally very difficult to fathom. Bressane has continued ever since on the road he had taken and this latest absurd, pornographic and surrealist film fits in perfectly in his unusual oeuvre.
Bressane tells a story in this film that meshes with two stories by his famous compatriot Machado de Assis: A Causa Secreta and Um Esqueleto. The story A erva do rato (The Rat Herb) is not by Machado de Assis, but it is conceived in his spirit and style.
Rat herb is a poison acquired from plants. The male protagonist (only referred to as He) makes tea from it for the female protagonist (She, indeed). They chanced upon each other in a churchyard. He takes her home with him and doesn't let her go again.
Increasingly under the influence of poison, She notes down his stories in booklets that slowly start to fill the walls. She allows him to take nude photos of her - of details of her (it's probably unnecessary to mention that this is a film for adults). When he finds out that rats are nibbling the photos, he becomes furious. Yes, cinema still has dark secrets. (GjZ)


Director
Júlio Bressane
Country of production
Brazil
Production Year
2008
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Length
80'
Medium
35mm
Original title
A erva do rato
Language
Portuguese
Producers
Bruno Safadi, Marcello Maia
Production Companies
TB Produções, Republica Pureza Filmes
Sales
TB Produções
Screenplay
Rosa Dias, Júlio Bressane
Cinematography
Walter Carvalho
Editor
Rodrigo Lima
Production Design
Moa Batsow
Sound Design
Virginia Flores
Music
Guilherme Vaz
Cast
Selton Mello