Dry Ground Burning (Mato seco em chamas), dirs. Adirley Queirós & Joana Pimenta, Brazil / Portugal 2022, 153 min., Portuguese with English subtitles
Dry Ground Burning, a new TERRATREME production directed by Adirley Queirós and Joana Pimenta, explores the turbulence of contemporary Brazil through the prism of the Gasolineiras de Kebradas: fearless Chitara, her sister Léa and their all-female gang in the Sol Nascente favela on the edge of Brasília, who hijack a pipeline in order to sell oil to their community.
Arid landscapes, hand-made machinery and meta-dimensional narratives combine to present an almost dreamlike reality. Lived-in locations, spontaneous protests against the Bolsonaro regime, non-professional actors playing versions of themselves – all help to form fictionalised layers interwoven with everyday struggles, exploring a reality that keeps burning beneath and above the earth. Dry Ground Burning offers an unflinching contemporary – and, perhaps, futuristic – reflection on what it means to embrace communality with painful ardour.
Dry Ground Burning
is screening as part of Collective Mobilisation
, a survey of work from contemporary Portuguese cinema co-presented by the ICA, TERRATREME and Uma Pedra no Sapato.