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    Directed by

    • Affonso Uchoa, João Dumans



    98 min

    • Portuguese


    Andre is a young boy that lives in an industrial neighborhood in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, near an old aluminum factory. Once a week, his aunt Márcia, a voluntary nurse at the community hospital, visits him and his younger brother to help them with the domestic tasks, while their mother is away.
    One day, one of the factory workers, Cristiano, a foreigner with a turbulent background in the neighborhood, suffers an accident at the factory. Márcia gives him first aid right in front of the factory, and asks André to go to Cristiano's house to get his documents and some clothes. When André arrives there, he finds by chance a mysterious notebook, which he starts to read.
    André discovers that Cristiano started writing this notebook for the factory's theater group, where these workers were asked to write down something about their lives. But Cristiano couldn’t stop writing. As a fairy tale, the film divides itself, and plunges into Cristiano's life. And what we see and listen from this point on is the epic story of the latter’s life - a worker's life whose happiness and sufferings reveal from another point of view the story of Brazilian social and economic development in the last ten years.


    • Special Mention - BAFICI
    • Special Jury Award - IndieLisboa


    Labels & Line Ups


    Aristides de Sousa
    Murilo Caliari
    Glaucia Vandeveld
    Renato Novaes
    Adriano Araújo
    Renan Rovida
    Wederson Neguinho
    Renata Cabral
    Affonso Uchôa
    João Dumans
    Leonardo Feliciano
    Luiz Pretti
    Rodrigo Lima
    Francisco César

    Director's Statement

    In ARABY we try to portray labor and poverty differently than what has been done so far in contemporary brazilian cinema. Born of a literary story and crossed by a theatrical impulse, our film tries to show the ordinary life of a worker in a fable and inventive way, undaunted by the harshness and violence of the Brazilian reality.
    The film ARABY continues in different ways the experience we had in our previous film THE HIDDEN TIGER (2014), which shows, with a strong documentary content, the struggles of five young men living in a Brazilian suburb. For ARABY, we decided to deal with the same universe but in a more fictional way, so we wrote the story of Cristiano, a worker-traveler wandering between nostalgia and murders as an old Western character, without any mission but to stay alive.
    Through Cristiano's story, we wanted to say something about the lives that are despised in the construction of the great historical and political narratives. We wanted to make a film that could present a summary of many Brazilian anonymous lives that hang between marginality and labor. In our view, these anonymous figures such as Cristiano are the real heroes of the novels, the epics and possible tragedies of our time. 5



    A wonder... a cumulatively engrossing and ultimately very moving work of clear-eyed political intent.

    Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

    Affonso Uchoa

    Affonso Uchoa


    Affonso Uchoa is a filmmaker based in Contagem, Brazil. His first film was AFTERNOON WOMAN (2010), screened in Mostra de Tiradentes, Semana dos Realizadores, among other film festivals in Brazil. He directed THE HIDDEN TIGER (2014), winner of the major prize in Mostra de Tiradentes and awarded in other film festivals such as Olhar de Cinema and Fronteira. The film was screened in festivals like the Hamburg Filmfest (Germany), Lussasdoc (France) and EDOC (Ecuador) and was shown at film institutions such as the Cinematheque Française (France), Barbican Centre (England) and Anthology Film Archive (USA) as well. He is the co-director of ARABY (2017), premiered at Tiger’s Competition in Rotterdam International Film Festival (2017) and awarded in many film festivals as Indielisboa (Portugal), Golden Apricot (Armenia), BAFICI (Argentina) and Brasília (Brasil). The film was screened in more than 60 film festivals around the globe.
    His film SEVEN YEARS IN MAY (2019) had its world premiere at Visions du Réel - Nyon.

    Selected Filmography

    João Dumans

    João Dumans


    João Dumans is a screenwriter and director based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He wrote the feature film WHERE I GROW OLD, directed by Marília Rocha that premiered internationally at the Rotterdam Film Festival, in the Tiger Competition Award, 2016. He co-wrote, co-edited and worked as an assistant director of the feature THE HIDDEN TIGER, directed by Affonso Uchoa, that premiered at the Hamburg Film Festival, 2015. He also worked as an executive producer and assistant director of THE RESIDENTS, directed by Tiago Mata Machado, that premiered at the 61st Berlinale and was shown, among other festivals, at the Viennale, New Horizons and Indielisboa in 2011. He also directed the medium-length documentary EVERYBODY HAS ITS OWN WAY (2014).