Calidris

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Calidris

Directed by Peter Azen

  • Brazil, USA 2019; 82 min
  • Original version: Portuguese, English, Italian
  • Genre: Documentary

Synopsis

New York City attracts Jane and Carlos, like so many others, with the promise of a better life. That's why they've left their home country, Brazil. Yet as immigrants, they don't have all the opportunities that the American dream implies. Their search for a new and better life represents that of all the immigrants who dare to attempt a fresh start in another country. It is also the story of changes taking place in United States and Brazil. The fictional story about Jane and Carlos in this experimental film is intertwined with the personal experiences of the film team, which reports in interspersed episodes about their own immigration and that of others they've researched.

Director's Statement

What is the underground? That was the question that started my second collaboration with actor and theater director Rodrigo Fischer. This collaboration was for a play called The Other’s Shadow. The play questioned what is the underground and everything that is invisible in such a busy city like New York City.
Through the early months of 2019, we researched and interviewed various people from different social classes and ethnic groups. Always asking them their idea of what is underground.
The play Premiered in June 2018, to a sold out crowd at the Dixon Place, New York. But even with the success of the play, the question that lead us to this play, made us start a conversation on another question that is also very relevant to both of us: What is to be an immigrant?
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Rodrigo in Brasilia. We started developing ideas based on conversations we were having with other Brazilians, asking them about how they felt as an immigrant. From those conversations, two things happened. First, Calidris started to form its shape in my head. Second, I decided we had to bring to the team the cinematographer Lívia Sá, and Rodrigo’s life partner and actress Yasmin Santana. Yasmin Santana was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, and Director of Photography Lívia Sá was born and raised in São Paulo. Now the team were of four Brazilians with completely different immigration stories, that came from four different parts of Brazil. With the main crew in mind, I went on to interview many undocumented Brazilians in New York.
The interviews were not recorded so that the interviewees would not be compromised. This is a time in which ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) was going hard to deport undocumented immigrants.
Me and Lívia sat down and talked for hours about the film and the interviews. Later, I talked to Rodrigo and eventually with Yasmin as well about it. So, with all these thoughts in mind, without a screenplay or any money whatsoever, we went on to shoot the film.

Production

  • ILLIUM PICTURES

    Peter Azen