Futuro Beach (2014) Dir. Karim Aïnouz
Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz's film follows a Brazilian lifeguard on the treacherous sea-front of Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro). From the day Donato fails to save a male swimmer, his life takes a dramatic turn. As he starts up a passionate affair with the drowned man's friend, Konrad, he decides to give up his job, family and country to emigrate to Germany.
Stylistically, Aïnouz is in favour of a slow-paced, contemplative narrative. Divided in a traditional three act structure, his film addresses three key moments in Donato's life: his encounter with Konrad, discovery of Berlin and his re-encounter with his past. The camera follows the couple's daily life, almost seeming to invade in their private space as they take their breakfast naked and dance drunkenly to French songs.
Between views of the beach and virile motorcycle-riding, Futuro Beach is also a reflection of the director's own life. He says himself: "I always let biographical elements slip into my films. In Praia do Futuro, there were certain elements that were consciously woven into the story, but which I prefer to keep as secret". Aïnouz's own emigration from Brasil to New York in order to study film could manifest itself in this confession of a painful, yet necessary, separation. He adds "I wanted to have characters who travelled, who threw themselves into the tide of life".
Yet it is also a confession of his undying love for the German capital: "Berlin enraptured me from the very beginning. For me, Berlin is like a Phoenix (...) a city with a dynamic identity, a city in constant process. And that is something that, as a Latin American, we relate very much to".
His first feature, Madame Satã, was premiered at Cannes in 2002 and won numerous prizes nationally and internationally. Since then, he has directed five fiction films, an HBO Latin American television series: Alice.
Futuro Beach is now out on DVD, available on www.mazon.co.uk