Inspired by the evocative names of 20 cities in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, filmmakers Cao Guimarães and Pablo Lobato uniquely meld a cinematic poem and an atypical travelogue in their film <i>Acidente</i>. Guimarães and Lobato visit each city and unobtrusively film slices of life, from a religious procession in Virgem da Lapa (Virgin of the Rock), to the nighttime activity at a lone gas station in Olhos d'Agua (Watery Eyes), to women sweeping the road in Entre Folhas (Between Leaves). These individual picture postcards form a larger tapestry revealing the diversity of the people, locations, and cultures of the region, while the place names gradually unite to become a literal and expressive poem on the screen.
As the title suggests, much of what is filmed happens by chance, highlighting the unpredictability of life, even as the portraits of the various cities palpably reflect their names and their assimilation into the filmmakers' lyrical structure. Purpose and accident, and text and image, merge to explore different facets of life in these cities, where a great deal takes place off camera, in the margins of the frame, or in the shadows. Local music and alternating film and video footage further individualize each city, creating a strong sense of place.
Acidente rewards the viewer with the joy of discovering not only Guimarães and Lobato's poem as it comes together, line by line, but also the people and places of Minas Gerais, city by city.
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