The Fever (2019) [Feature]

Brazil (MIFF 2020 )
Director: Maya Da-Rin

Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film and the Best Actor Leopard at Locarno, Maya Da-Rin’s literal fever dream of a film depicts the experiences of a man wrestling with the displacement and isolation of being an Indigenous person in Brazil.

The widowed Justino, a Desana man, is taken aback when his daughter announces she’s moving away to pursue medical school. Lonely and disheartened by his repetitive job as a harbour security guard, and subjected to racism by his co-workers, he comes down with a mysterious illness that has him experiencing visions that meld together the city he now lives in and the rainforest home he left behind. Haunted by the duality of his identity and news reports of an animal stalking the region, Justino is engulfed by a longing for community on both the real and supernatural planes.

The prolific Da-Rin brings her wealth of documentary and visual art experience to her pointedly political fiction debut, whose story is informed by the lives of its Amazonian actors. The subtle yet towering performance of Regis Myrupu at its centre cements The Fever as a formidable expression of First Nations survival and an indictment of settler-state violence.

“This is not just a wonderfully crafted, superb exercise in filmmaking, a multilayered tale that seesaws between social realism and magic. It is a call to action.” – The Film Stage Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film and the Best Actor Leopard at Locarno, Maya Da-Rin’s literal fever dream of a film depicts the experiences of a man wrestling with the displacement and isolation of being an Indigenous person in Brazil.

The widowed Justino, a Desana man, is taken aback when his daughter announces she’s moving away to pursue medical school. Lonely and disheartened by his repetitive job as a harbour security guard, and subjected to racism by his co-workers, he comes down with a mysterious illness that has him experiencing visions that meld together the city he now lives in and the rainforest home he left behind. Haunted by the duality of his identity and news reports of an animal stalking the region, Justino is engulfed by a longing for community on both the real and supernatural planes.

The prolific Da-Rin brings her wealth of documentary and visual art experience to her pointedly political fiction debut, whose story is informed by the lives of its Amazonian actors. The subtle yet towering performance of Regis Myrupu at its centre cements The Fever as a formidable expression of First Nations survival and an indictment of settler-state violence.

“This is not just a wonderfully crafted, superb exercise in filmmaking, a multilayered tale that seesaws between social realism and magic. It is a call to action.” – The Film Stage

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