The Blue Flower of Novalis
Gustavo Vinagre, Rodrigo Carneiro
The 40-year-old, unabashedly HIV-positive Marcelo (Vinagre) recounts his revealing “biography” — from his sexual adventures to his fears and frustrations — and recites German romantic writer Novalis’ “Heinrich von Ofterdingen.”
Brief Story From the Green Planet
A buddy movie with an alien, Argentine Loza’s 10th feature takes a look at three outsiders — trans Tani; Pedro, a voguing dancer; and Daniela, depressed after a break-up — tasked with returning an alien, a friend of Tani’s grandma, back to its planet. A low-fi road movie about friendship.
Set in 2027 in a Brazil swept by evangelicism, immersed in disco hymns, drive-in confessionals and pregnancy detectors, a deeply religious divorced notary attempts to reconcile her faith, her job and her inability to conceive. Well received at Sundance. Sales: Memento Films Intl.
Armando Praça; REC
A coming-of-belated-age drama, “Greta,” Praça’s first feature, revolves around a lonely 70-year-old hospital nurse, obsessed with Greta Garbo, who battles to accept his homosexuality. Sales: M-Appeal
Helvecio Marins Jr.
Forced to help raid his own cattle, rodeo emcee and rapper Marcelo gets his mojo back in a little-known corner of Brazil. Helvecio Marins Jr. (“Swirl”) directs the picturesque, sometimes documentary-style film. Walter Salles co-produces. Sales: The Open Reel.
A painstaking documentary recording the struggles of the Landless Workers’ Movement, opposed by wealthy landowners, to enact land reform on property owned by a sugarcane processing plant filing for bankruptcy. Sales: FiGa Films.
A potentially incendiary portrait of Marighella, a resistance hero to Brazil’s military dictatorship for some, a terrorist bogeyman for Brazil’s political right. Actor-turned-writer-director Moura (“Narcos”) directs. 02 Filmes (“City of God”) produces. Sales: Elle Driver.
On the Starting Line
Directed by Brazil’s Matias, it’s a portrait of modern Cuba on the starting blocks, facing uncertain change, via a family portrait of Jennifer, a promising 100-meter sprinter, and her disciplinarian mother Marbelis. Sales: FiGa.
Waiting for the Carnival
Gomes interviews the workaholic jeans manufacturers in Toritama, Agreste de Pernambuco, who are proud to be their own bosses. Shot with a cinematic eye and wistful nostalgia for an older Brazil, the film is a portrait of marauding capitalism in modern-day Brazil. Sales: Cinephil.
A chronicle of Brazilian student protests at school closure from 2015 to 2018’s general elections.