A young black director, subjected to a constant stream of microaggressions, tries to put on a performance in the rapidly changing city of Sao Paulo
O Ensaio is a fictional story in which Isabel, a young black woman is invited by a foundation for contemporary art in Sao Paulo to present a project. In this project she attempts a stage adaptation of the novel The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by the 19th century multiracial Brazilian writer Machado de Assis. In his book, Machado de Assis directs harsh criticism at Brazilian society at the time and adopts a sceptical attitude with respect to the notion of progress.
The growth of social movements in Brazil over the past eight years is indisputable and the role of Isabel in the present film is that of an emancipated woman – she is the director, after all. However, the legitimacy of her position is constantly undermined. Whether these micro-aggressions and small insults are aimed at her because she is black, a woman, a young woman, or all of the above, is left to the viewer to decide.
Part of NORMAL SCHNORMAL, a multidisciplinary programme on normality and other deviations.
BR, 2017, 59’
Portuguese spoken, English subtitles, starts every 60'