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Mango Yellow (2002)

Cast: Matheus Nachtergaele, Jonas Bloch, Leona Cavalli, more...
Director: ClŠudio Assis
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: First Run Features
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Latin America, Brazil
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: Portuguese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

The destinies of the downtrodden citizens of a Brazilian shantytown converge in director Claudio Assis' stark tale of life on the fringe of society. Though Recife is a major Brazilian city with over 1.5 million inhabitants, the lives of the well-to-do exist as little more than an unreachable horizon to those who face the bleak day-to-day reality of existence on the street. Though butcher Wellington (Chico Diaz) admires his wife Kika's (Dira Paes) devotion to her religion, his motivation for supporting her spirituality lies more in the fact that he knows she will remain faithful (which he has not) than in any true concern for her soul. Delivering meat to a Texas hotel which serves as refuge to a collection of lost souls not unlike the butcher himself, the characters come together as Wellington offers his neighbors a series of portraits. As life stretches into a never-ending cycle of wasted days and lonely nights, the citizens of Recife do their best to search for meaning in the face of crushing poverty. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Smack! by talltale April 15, 2005 - 7:02 AM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Like a short, sharp slap in the face that shocks and shames more than it hurts, MANGO YELLOW will snap you to attention and keep you watching. None of the characters are all that likeable (one is downright creepy), but after a bit you'll realize that these people are barely managing to keep afloat on any level: mostly economic, but in their social, religious, and love life, too.

This is Brazil, after all, the country with the largest disparity between its rich and poor. Here we see a few of those poor and it is not a pretty sight--although there's plenty of color, energy and film savvy present. Despite yourself (and the movie's bleak tone), you'll probably persevere, while wondering, at least briefly, what YOUR life would be like had you been born in Brazil.

Check out the interview with Lincoln Center Film Society expert Richard Pena after the movie; it'll fill you in and maybe have you queuing up for some other interesting Brazilian films. The title, by the way, appears at the very end as an ironic, darkly funny battle-cry. Great moment!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.25)
4 Votes
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