Madame Satã. 2002. Brazil. Directed by Karim Aïnouz. With Lázaro Ramos, Marcelia Cartaxo, Flavio Bauraqui. 35mm. In Portuguese; English subtitles. 105 min.
Black, queer, poor, and born in 1900, João Francisco dos Santos was a living provocation. Karim Aïnouz based his debut feature on this legendary figure’s life, recreating the sweaty, messy, cramped corners of Lapa, a bohemian/nightlife district in Rio de Janeiro. From sitting on the sideline of cabaret performances to becoming a performer himself, João lives fearlessly and dangerously. As with his latest feature, Invisible Life, set in 1950s Rio de Janeiro and winner of the top honor in Cannes’ 2019 Un Certain Regard section, Aïnouz takes us on a nostalgic journey to a bygone era in the famed city.