Film

“Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury”–A universal tale from a Brazilian point of view

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It’s always good try something a little different. And after last week’s…surprise, I figured I might as well try to find something new. And something non-anime. I ended up coming across Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, an award-winning, Brazilian produced, Portuguese language animated movie about an immortal man and his lover, in different situations throughout Brazilian history.

During his first life, the guy’s name is Abeguar, and he is a member of the Tupinambá tribe in Brazil. The Immortal Warrior, as he is called in the credits, is attacked by a jaguar. To escape, he flies indicating he had been chosen by the god Munhã to lead his tribe to victory.

But it is 1566, and the tribe is found by Portuguese explorers and unfortunately, they get killed. Abeguar is killed as well and reincarnates into a bird. It becomes his duty to find his lover Janaina throughout the years and do his best to protect and fight for the oppressed.

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He ends up flying around for over 200 years searching for his love.

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When he finds her again it is 1825. They end up having two daughters and are working to help people escape from slavery. Both of them are willing to do whatever it takes, but then their elder daughter is raped, and he is forced to take action. He and the towns people attack. And they’re all killed.

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Then he finds her in 1968 during a political uprising in Brazil against the brutal dictatorship. He leads a small group of young like-minded rebels. And in the case Janaina is already married with a son. Yet, that doesn’t make a difference for the two lovers. They fight and again fail, with the news reporting that the Warrior’s body had somehow disappeared.

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The final time they meet is in 2096, where they’re in the midst of a water crisis; the man witnesses a little boy get killed by the government because he had a few sips of fresh water. Unlike the others, this one ends with the two flying, the same thing that happened at the beginning of the movie when The Warrior gained his powers.

I’m not sure if it implies the cycle is broken or if they’re going to be reincarnated together, and they don’t have to search for each other or not.

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It’s a decent movie, with decent animation which for me varies depending on the time period its set in. I love the first sequence and the final one the best, probably because it allowed the animators to get more creative with the settings.

My favorite part were the hallucinatory or dream sequences or more like nightmares with people with missing eyes all bloodied. It was a nice style change, and they were visually fascinating.

There’s a lot to unpack story wise with all the history presented; I’m not familiar with it, so I can’t say much but the story itself, as a man struggling for justice for the underdog and the exploited against a terrible oppressor is pretty universal at this point.

Unlike a lot, he’s never fully successful. All his attempts are for not, but at least he gets to be with the one constant. 

There is also a lot with different gods, one good and one evil that went over my head. I think I missed something there.

But, It’s nice to see animation that’s not American or Japanese. I’m pretty sure this is my first Brazilian cartoon.

Other than that, it really didn’t leave too much of an impression on me but I can see why people like it and why it was nominated for an Academy Award. I really wish I had more to say, but honestly I can’t think of much else to mention right now.

Maybe I’ll come back to it one day. See the movie. It’s worth your time. I just had a long, weird week.

And that’s the scoop!

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Score: 6/10

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Year of release: 2013

Length: 75 minutes

Director and Screenwriter: Luiz Bolognesi

Producers: Fabiano Gullane, Caio Gullane, Luiz Bolognesi, Laís Bodanzky, Marcos Barreto, Debora Ivanov, Gabriel Lacerda

Voice Actors: Selton Mello, Camila Pitanga, Rodrigo Santoro, Bemvindo Sequeira

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