The acclaimed Brazilian animated movie Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, which won the top prize at Annecy in June, will begins its Oscar-qualifying run in L.A. this Friday (Nov. 21). Directed and written by Luiz Bolognesi, the sci-fi fantasy tracks down major events in the history of Brazil, as seen through the eyes of a character who lived almost 600 years ago, but is resurrected in the year 2096. The pic is set in four dates in Brazil’s history: 1500, when the country was discovered by the Portuguese explorers, 1800, in events during slavery; 1970, during the high point of the authoritarian military dictatorship, and 2096, when there will be a war over water. It also chronicles a magical love story that lasts through these tumultuous centuries.
The L.A. Weekly praised the film’s bold storyline, but didn’t give it extra points for its animation style, which blends 2D with CG elments:
“Writer-director Luiz Bolognesi’s film doesn’t push the envelope in terms of technique or style, but its fast-moving story roils with a righteous anger that is mesmerizing as Bolognesi whips up a Zelig-like overview of Brazil’s tortured history and a prophecy of a grim future in which the wealthy live in cities in the sky while the poor fight for poisoned water on the ground. What makes the film radical is its insistence that love must be at the core of the pushback, while owning up to the reality that love has a cost and isn’t always enough–but is itself worth dying for.”
Here is the trailer for the movie: