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THE AMOROUS ONES

Brazil, 1968 (MIFF 1969, Programme 31)

Director: Walter Hugo Khouri

A randy but otherwise impoverished university student borrows from his sister and works at odd jobs to support a life of unrelieved perplexity and emotional indecision. He is frustrated in all directions, including his varied sex life, from which he gains no satisfaction, whether with a fellow student, a television actress, or anyone else. Yet his anxiety is legitimate; his contradictions part of his pursuit of freedom from an oppressive environment.

The problems preoccupying a student in modern Brazil are discussed in judiciously interspersed snippets of conversation throughout a narrative related with verve, telling images, and occasional excursions into symbolism. Its flamboyant scenes —and the final bacchanalia in particular—are consensual with the South American setting. Walter Hugo Khouri is in the forefront of the young Brazilian directors.

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