Brazil, 2007, 95 min
Director: Sandra Kogut
Cast: Thiago da Silva Mariz, Wallison Felipe Leal Barroso, Maria Juliana Souza de Oliveira, Brenda Luana Rodrigues Lima, Joao Vitor Leal Barroso
Awards: Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk - Special Mention, Berlinale, 2008, Best Film, Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival 2007; nominations: Best Actor (Joao Miguel), Best Screenplay, Adapted, Best Special Effects, Cinema Brazil Grand Prize, 2008.
Selection: Novi Latino Film
In the festival in Berlin, in 2008, Brazilian director Sandra Kogut received a special recognition by Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk for a movie called Mutum. The movie is made as an adaptation of a novel called Campo Geral, by Joao Guimaraes Rose, whose literary work has often been compared with James Joyce. Mutum shows the world of grown-ups, deceitfully calm but actually full of treason and violence, through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy, Thiago. With growing up, he and his brother Felipe are forced to join it, although the world of grown-ups does not appeal to them at all.
The very title of the movie is symbolic. Mutum is a kind of tropical bird that sings only by night. Also, mutum means “silent”, and it is also a name of the place where young Thiago grows up.
Kogut creates Mutum by connecting the elements of a documentary and feature film. Most of the characters that appear in the movie are not professional actors, but actual inhabitants of the Sertao region, a remote, but at the same time, dreamy savannah of Brazilian landscape. The novel writer, Rose, realized that this area is perfect for a metaphor of the world, assigning the meaning of the book and the movie beyond regional boundaries, giving them a universal meaning and message.
Sandra Kogutwas born in 1965 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has achieved particular success working on performances, artistic installations, and video material, the things she has been doing since 1984.