With a strong assist from the largest roster of black thesps in Brazilian film history, doc vet Joel Zito Araujo’s “Daughters of the Wind” playfully applies the dramatic conventions of telenovelas to a multigenerational saga of sibling jealousies and family schisms. Araujo betrays some uneasiness in the transition from his past nonfiction work to this sudsy concoction, but his real coup is casting Brazilian stalwarts Ruth de Souza and Milton Goncalves in emotive roles that command attention. A mild commercial run locally in ’05 and solid fest visits auger good vid returns.
Until they’re divided by emotional conflicts, sisters Cida (Tais Araujo) and Ju (Thalma de Frietas) must live under the same roof with their oppressive father, known as Bicycle Joe (Goncalves). Cida is so shattered by events at home that she flees to Rio, where, several decades later, she’s a well-established telenovela star (de Souza). Meanwhile, Ju (Lea Garcia), remains in the home village as her daughter Dorinha (Danielle Ornellas) stokes ambitions for Cida’s brand of stardom. Framed by the funeral of Bicycle Joe, story is hampered by a much-too-elaborate flashback strategy.