The cast and crew of Aquarius, an acclaimed Brazilian drama in competition at Cannes have used the film’s official premiere to mount a protest as what they see as a coup in their country.
Writer-director Kleber Mendonca Filho, along with his cast and crew, climbed the steps to the Palais in Cannes before revealing a selection of banners apparently objecting to the recent impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff.
The protest was met by ecstatic applause inside the cinema. Audience members then joined in by holding aloft similar banners.
Aquarius is about an ageing music critic, played by Sonia Braga, eager to remain in her apartment despite developer pressure. Yet it is not an overtly political film, instead meditating on shifting familial allegiances and the way space intersects with identity.
In an interview with the New York Times last week, Mendonca Filho – whose own feelings about the country’s democracy are said to be “fervent” – was asked if his film was intended to reflect the country’s push for capitalist progress.