Foreign Land

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


In beautiful black-and-white photography by Walter Carvalho, Foreign Land is a new Brazilian film directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas. Salles‘s background in documentary and Thomas‘s knowledge of theatre translate into very realistic and subtle performances.

Fernando Alves Pinto is Paco, a young man who lives in Sao Paulo and is the son of a Spanish emigrant. Fernanda Torres is Alex, a Brazilian woman who lives in Lisbon, Portugal, trying to make ends meet. She is faced daily with the crude reality of having to live in another country. Igor (Luis Melo), a shady antique dealer, recruits Paco to take a violin full of uncut diamonds to Lisbon. There Alex’s and Paco’s destinies collide.

Foreign Land is a film about a generation and a country in crisis. In March of 1990, Fernando Collor de Mello, the first elected president in Brazil after thirty years of military dictatorship, implemented an extreme economic plan, which, in practice, confiscated Brazilian savings accounts. The country was thrown into chaos, and more than 800,000 young Brazilians had to leave to search new opportunities. Much in the style of Brazilian Cinema Nôvo, Foreign Land is shot very stylistically. It is a powerful metaphor for the reality of young people striving to find a place in the world.

— Patricia Cardoso-Reneau

Screening Details

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