Dir: Kleber Mendonça Filho



146 mins


In Aquarius – an important film lauded by critics following its festival screenings and which generated uproar in Brazil due to its incendiary political connotations – Brazilian writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho returns to his hometown and the setting of his debut, Neighbouring Sounds, to continue exploring concerns about urban redevelopment in the coastal town of RecifeBut while Neighbouring Sounds sought this understanding through a sprawling cast of characters, Aquarius focuses solely on one, offering a character study of rare complexity via a superb performance by Sonia Braga, an icon of Brazilian cinema.

She plays Clara, a retired music critic and public intellectual who finds herself the last hold-out in the battle to protect ‘The Aquarius’, the elegant 1940s apartment building in which she lives from property developers who want to raze it to the ground. When it becomes clear no cheque from developer Diego (Humerto Carrão) will convince her to abandon her home, it provokes a series of escalating actions and reactions.

Mendonça Filho recognises the inherent contradictions that define his protagonist and embraces her in all her thrilling, maddening complexity, creating a role that’s subtle and stirring in equal measure and an exhilarating showcase for Braga’s supreme talent.

And beyond its central character, Aquarius balances a harsh study of classism, nepotism, and the lack of corporate accountability with a story of the meaningfulness of places and things: the history and memories contained in an apartment. It’s both a portrait of a particular life in modern Brazil and a wider statement of political intent: that its citizens will ultimately resist corruption.

Booking Information


Arrow Films

01923 587023


Release Date

24 March 2017

Available Formats


Subscribe to our mailing list

What would you like to receive emails about? *
* indicates required