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Cinematic: Struggling in Sao Paolo


By Bekah Wright

Published Jan 1, 2009 8:04 AM

Photo Courtesy of UCLA Latin American Institute.

The lives of two lower-middle-class women are the focus of the UCLA Latin American Institute's 2008-2009 Brazilian Film Series' February film selection, A Casa de Alice, or Alice's House, which premieres on Feb. 4 at the James Bridges Theater.

In his first feature film, which won numerous international awards, documentary director Chico Teixeira introduces us to Alice (Carla Ribas) and her dysfunctional family in Sao Paulo, including her mother, Dona Jacira (Berta Zemel). The home life of this fortysomething manicurist is marked by strained relationships between herself, her three disrespectful sons and a philandering taxi driver husband.

A discussion will follow the screening with Sandro Fiorin of FiGa Films, an art house film distribution company based in Los Angeles.

In its second year, UCLA's Brazilian Film Series is hosted in conjunction with the Consulate General of Brazil. "We want to bring a diversity of genres and styles, ranging from comedies to dramas and documentaries, that are filled with a strong social impact to give audiences a sense of the diversity of Brazilian film production," says Randal Johnson, an expert on the study of Brazilian film and literature and director of the UCLA Latin American Institute.

A Casa de Alice. UCLA Latin American Institute's Brazilian Film Series, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Other film screenings on the first Wednesday of the month. James Bridges Theater in Melnitz Hall. For more information, call (310) 825-4571.