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Gazing right into the heart of human suffering and yearning, To the Left of the Father probes the dark side of the universal parable of the Prodigal Son. The lens moves in on a migrant Lebanese family in the interior of Brazil, a wealthy family now fallen on hard times. When André strays from home, older brother Pedro is sent out to bring him home, and discovers that André left because of a secret love for their sister Ana. The whole household, under an oppressive paternal law and suffocating maternal affection, is in agony. André eventually returns, offering only temporary happiness to a family ultimately torn by the nexus of traditional values and personal freedoms.

Nominated for a Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, To the Left of the Father is a texturally gorgeous drama of universal scope. Love, incest, prostitution and homosexuality are but the tags sewn into the rich tapestries of the family members' lives. The power of suppressed passions and family conflicts are played out in whirlwind camerawork, a rich palette of colours and a superb cast.

Luiz Fernando Carvalho (born in Rio de Janeiro, 1960) has directed numerous projects for television, among them the award-winning series Renascer and Rei do Gado. Apart from his short La espera (1986), To the Left of the Father marks his first foray into film.