The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão, Karim Ainouz’ new drama, depicts 1950s Rio in smoky pastels. It’s a city where a young woman’s dreams, romantic and otherwise, can come into fruition. Romance is in the mind of Guida (Julia Stockler), thinking of nothing but her boyfriend.
Guida’s sister Eurídice (Carol Duarte), on the other hand, wants to play piano for a conservatory. However, for the time being, fate takes all of Guida and Eurídice’s dreams away from them. Guida’s unplanned pregnancy makes their parents disown her, a decision that Eurídice doesn’t know about.
Ainouz, then, carefully constructs a beautiful diptych with these two sisters living their separate lives. Through his visuals and his use of sound, Ainouz shows real class differences as two sisters experience them. It also shows the differences between someone who chose a career path and someone without.
Movies often use institutions like the stifling patriarchy as a way to end a woman’s dream. Eurídice’s story line, however, disproves that, as she pursues a career as a concert pianist. The film shows her doing this even with a talent that fluctuates due to pregnancy stress.
Both sisters also learn the meaning of family after losing each other and eventually, their parents. This is mostly true of Guida, who finds Filomena (Barbara Santos), who becomes her new mother. I also can’t help but notice Guido and Filomena becoming family despite of racial barriers. The film, despite its realism, presents a post-racial utopia I wish we lived in.
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