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Medusa

Anita Rocha da Silveira

Brazil, France

synopsis

A middle-sized city in Brazil is ruled by The Heirs of The Lord Evangelical Church. To impose everyday order, they resort to the paramilitary branch of the male youth group Watchmen of Sion, and a female squad, The Treasures of the Altar. The girls must pursue and punish all women who do not behave properly, that is, who are not modest, feminine and submissive to men.
One of the Treasures is Bia, 20, an Afro-Brazilian nursing student, raised to be just one more in the white male dominant logic. One day, during a frustrated attack against a “promiscuous” girl, Bia is slashed in her face.
Now bearing a scar, she loses her job at a beauty clinic and goes to work at a nursing home for comatose patients. There, she meets Melissa, the Treasures’ first victim. Melissa’s face is deformed by deep burns and paralyzed in a grimace of eternal pain; a single glance will affect Bia forever. She will experience feelings she never had before: empathy and lust.
Will Bia be the next one to be punished?

intention

One of my favourite Greek myths is Medusa’s, particularly Ovid’s version: she was a beautiful priestess at Athena’s temple, but gave in to Poseidon’s advances. This enraged Athena, the virgin goddess, who transformed Medusa’s hair into serpents and made her face so horrible that onlookers would turn into stone.
Medusa was punished for her sexuality and desire, for being “impure”. This brings me to contemporary Brazil, where we witness the return of a model of demure and submissive women – as femicide rates rise, we can even find reports on violent attacks on teenage girls, performed by other girls that gang up and regard victims as “promiscuous”.
I feel the urge to discuss what we are going through now: the rise of the right-wing, the exponential growth of neo-Pentecostal Churches, and mainly the advance of hatred and intolerance. I plan to build a narrative set in an alternative universe, yet guided by facts I witness today. I feel that women, especially black women, will be the most affected by the conservative rise, having their rights denied. I want to approach this universe and this female character without giving up an exaggerated tone, making room for fantasy, horror, and humour.

A single glance into the face of terror will lead a young woman to discover her own humanity.
5728-anita-rocha-da-silveira
Anita Rocha da Silveira

Scriptwriter, Film Director

anitadasilveira@gmail.com

production notes

original title
Medusa

directed by
Anita Rocha da Silveira

produced byBananeira Filmes
Rua da Glória, 366, 12th floor
20241180, Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

in co-production with
Ciné-Sud Promotion – France