Prado’s documentary, shot in 2001 and 2002 in the Jardim Gramacho shanty town (more properly a refuse dump) on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, mixes almost unbearable intensity with a remarkable, almost transcendent, poetic vision. ‘My depression is immense. It has no cure!’ rails Estamira, the 64-year-old resident around whom the film is based, screaming at her 10-year-old grandson, ‘Fuck off with your God!’ As capable of mystic insight and psychotic rage as she is of poetic descriptions of her, her family’s and her neighbours’ plight, Estamira comes close to a force of nature, a survivor against impossible odds. Prado lets his subjects speak for themselves; and it’s a terrible truth they utter. A remarkable and shocking film.
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