A slogan on a banner outside a building site in Rio de Janeiro reads “The Games Bring More Than Just The Games”. This contains an unpleasant truth, as Marina Meliande’s stifling cross between social realist drama and body horror shows. While no-holds-barred speculation creates explosive situations in the city, young lawyer Ana’s desperation starts to manifest itself physically. Well over 18 months before the start of the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro boils with emotion, anger and greed. Wherever the games alight, stadiums, hotels and fancy apartments spring up. After all, the event attracts the rich, as well as investors. The city will never be the same again.
Confronted with abuse of power and corruption, Ana tries to survive the hottest summer ever. She protects the interests of the Vila Autódromo slum where homes are to be destroyed to make way for even more money-guzzling Olympic spectacle. Ana tries to forget that the characteristic apartment complex she lives in is also earmarked to make way for a luxury hotel. Her body responds strongly to all these changes: strange rashes appear on her skin.
In 2011 Marina Meliande (1980) presented the beautiful, magic-realist youth drama The Joy (co-directed with Felipe Bragança) in Rotterdam. Her solo feature debut, developed with support from IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund, gives goosebumps with its crystal clear sound design and horror-like aesthetics. Sultry provides food for thought: how much can the earth and humans take?