In Nazaré da Mata, a small town near Recife in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, young people don’t hold rap battles, but samba battles. The Afro-Brazilian culture of the maracatu, a dance and music spectacle related to carnival with roots in the era of slavery, is in their blood. A local evangelical pastor, however, regards this cultural heritage as inspired by the devil: he thinks the people should renounce the maracatu in order to let God in.
Azougue Nazareth follows a group of men and women leading up to carnival. As they wrestle with everyday problems, weird and maybe even supernatural events take place in the town. Who or what are the strange apparitions in the sugarcane field?
The actors were drawn from an existing maracatugroup and this contributes to the authentic character of this cheerful and lively fiction film, which shows how important the costumes, music and other expressions of maracatu are in Pernambuco – and how traditions are always renewed.
Winner Bright Future Award, IFFR 2018.