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My Friend Dunor

Near the beginning of "My Friend Dunor," characters editing a film within the film decide it must "lose its rigid structure." Writer and documaker Jose Eduardo Alcazar unfortunately takes this advice to extremes in his first feature, making the story's thin narrative strands nearly incomprehensible.

With:
With: Dilma Loes, Ruy Resende, Vanessa Loes, Emily Permez, Lyonel Combecau, Adilio Athos, Ashanti, Dolores Lapa.

Near the beginning of “My Friend Dunor,” characters editing a film within the film decide it must “lose its rigid structure.” Writer and documaker Jose Eduardo Alcazar unfortunately takes this advice to extremes in his first feature, making the story’s thin narrative strands nearly incomprehensible. This Rotterdam competition entry, supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, might have looked interesting on paper, but the finished product is too murky and repetitive for all but the most hardened fest auds.

Set during a Latin American military dictatorship in the ’70s, pic traces the explosive relationship between an angry woman in a wheelchair (Dilma Loes) and her blind companion (Ruy Resende), who might have designs on killing her. These scenes, however, actually turn out to be parts of an unfinished movie, apparently being shot by a Brazilian filmmaker who is friends with a visiting French director. Shot on 35mm but made to look like bad Super 8, this head-scratcher keeps viewers fruitlessly occupied trying to figure out where it’s going — and it’s not far. Pic also trivializes a political tragedy for dubious aesthetic ends.

My Friend Dunor

Brazil-Paraguay

Production: Produced by Jose Eduardo Alcazar. Executive producer, Carlos Guimaraes. Directed by Jose Eduardo Alcazar. Screenplay, Alcazar, Lula Campello.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W), Antonio Rocha; editors, Amaury Alves, Alcazar; music, Raiz do Sana; sound, Lorenzo Galarza. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Feb. 1, 2005. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: With: Dilma Loes, Ruy Resende, Vanessa Loes, Emily Permez, Lyonel Combecau, Adilio Athos, Ashanti, Dolores Lapa.

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