AFI 2014: ‘August Winds’

Did you ever want to live the simple life on some relatively isolated beach? Gabriel Mascaro’s narrative film first grabs our attention with beautiful scenery–the blue waters and the bikini-clad woman alone on a boat sunning herself.

This movie, “August Winds” (Ventos de Agosto), is for adults and includes full frontal nudity–male and female. The nudity is matter of fact The woman, Shirley (Dandara de Morais), has a boyfriend, Jeison (Geová Manoel Dos Santos) While she’s sunning herself on the boat listening to rock music with violent English lyrics, he’s diving for octopus. She drives a truck that’s filled up with coconuts. Sometimes, she and her boyfriend have sex on top of the coconuts. On one of his dives, Shirley’s boyfriend Jeison finds a skull with golden teeth.

The villagers contemplate how long the man has been dead. Doesn’t a fresh body float? Is there anything worse than dying at sea? Should one allow the sea to keep what it claims?

This isn’t exactly CSI: Miami and while Jelson goes to a remote location where his cell phone can pick up signals and asks the regional police (Policia Militar de Alagoas). to pick up the body, no one comes. He’s obviously bothered that a man can die and no one cares.   Sometimes a beach paradise has a short memory and in the middle of nowhere a single man is no one when he died. As time passes, the body begins to smell and there are practical concerns to deal with.

“August Winds” asks us that at then end of our summers, before the fall of our youth, what kind of life do we choose and will that help us matter at the end of our days? (2014 Brazil. In Portuguese with English subtitles)

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