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Still Dry Ground Burning

Dry Ground Burning

Adirley Queirós, Joana Pimenta / BR, PT, 2022 / 153 min.

Oil is rebellion in a sprawling favela on the outskirts of Brasilia. A group of self-assured women illegally tap it and sell gasoline through a motorcycle gang. This is the heart of a broad panorama of a Brazil we rarely see.

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There is fire, there is oil, there is politics, there is religion. Andreia confidently leads a tough motorcycle gang through the Sol Nascente favela, a large community on the outskirts of Brasilia. She belongs to the Gasolineiras de Kebradas, a group of women under the leadership of Chitara, who take matters into their own hands by refining illegally tapped oil in their own plant. They guard it armed with rifles.

Chitara’s sister Léa explains how she joined them when she was released from prison. It’s one of the few moments when someone addresses the camera directly. In Dry Ground Burning, Adirley Queirós, whose boldness and engagement put him at the forefront of independent Brazilian cinema, teams up with co-director and cinematographer Joana Pimenta. Her calm yet dramatically powerful camerawork captures a vivid reality blended with staged events. The women play versions of themselves in this broad panorama charged with energy, encompassing Andreia’s political struggle, personal memories, music and song. This immersion in the real Brazil has won awards at festivals including Cinéma du Réel.

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Adirley Queirós, Joana Pimenta

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153 min.



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IDFA 2022

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 20 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 35th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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