TRAILER: This Film Is a Melancholy Version of ‘Y tu mama tambien’ Set in Brazil

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Two best friends on the cusp of adulthood take a road trip to the beach and soon find themselves wrestling with their own complex feelings for one another. And it’s not Y Tú Mamá También. This one is in fact called Beira-Mar, a Brazilian production that will be played as part of the Berlinale’s International Forum of New Cinema (or Forum, for short). The festival’s prestigious Forum sidebar focuses on more daring, groundbreaking works that challenge traditional definitions of art and cinema. In the case of Beira-Mar, the trailer suggests a more or less straight-forward buddy road movie, though we can certainly expect it to be a little more conceptually dense than, say, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

According to the film’s official synopsis, Martin is a teenager sent by his parents to Brazil’s southern coast to sort out some family affairs. His best friend Tomaz decides to hop on board for the ride, with both hoping the trip will help mend the growing emotional distant between them. The boys spend their weekend meandering around the dreary winter landscape of Southern Brazil, by turns distracted, by turns introspective. In the end, both come face-to-face with the sometimes blurry line between friendship and love.

‘Beira-Mar’ actors Mateus Almada and Mauricio Jose Barcellos.
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From the trailer it’s clear that Beira-Mar is a film heavy on atmosphere that takes full advantage of the region’s stark grey landscapes, which contribute more than a little thematic weight to visual style. The cinematography’s muddy colors and soft definition suggest that at least part of the film was shot on an iPhone, which would seem to justify its presence in Berlin’s Forum sidebar. A play of medium shots and close-ups maintain the story’s intimate focus on two friends, with an occasional atmospheric long shot reminding us of the importance of place as both a character and thematic device.

Whatever the format, stories of same-sex friendship are as universal as they are timeless, and most anyone should connect with this film on some level or another. Beira-mar won a special mention at the recent Guadalajara Film Festival’s Maguey Awards for LGBTQ projects.