The Rehearsal (2019)
51 min | Drama
Isa, a young artist invited to propose a project for an exhibition, sets out to stage a dramatic adaptation of 'The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas', a satirical 19th-century novel by Machado de Assis. The rehearsal is marred by difficulties which the viewer must interpret as being due to the fact that Isa is a woman, young, black, all of the above, or as difficulties anyone would encounter. The novel delivers a mordant critique of Brazilian society in the guise of a satirical autobiography narrated by a dead protagonist. In 1880 its author foresaw the abolition of slavery that would happen in Brazil eight years later, but predicted that it would be a mere formal measure, informally everything would remain the same. The film was shot at the Ibirapuera pavilion designed by Oscar Niemeyer and its cast is made up of professional and non-professional actors, several of whom worked or currently work for the São Paulo Biennial Foundation. Featuring actors recast from another project Guimarães had worked on eight years earlier, O Ensaio is a film about the passage of time, about short lived revolutionary actions, about institutional memory, racism, and sexism in Brazil.