2015 has been an outstanding year for Brazilian cinema in the U.S. with several acclaimed films opening theatrically across all genres. “A Wolf at the Door,” “The Second Mother,” “The Moving Creatures,” “I Touched All Your Stuff,” co-productions such as “Trash,” and the upcoming animated feature “The Boy and the World,” all give us a taste of the the sophisticated and authentic stories being produced in the South American nation. However, the horror genre had not been truly represented among these offers until now.
Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas‘ “Hard Labor” was originally released in its home country back in 2011 and played in competition in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival that year, but is just now getting a theatrical release thanks to the recently launched distribution company Cinema Slate. This unsettling portrait of the social and economic issues that afflict the modern world intelligently uses the horror genre as a means to decisively deliver its bold ideas.
“Hard Labor” opens on October 30, just in time for Halloween, at New York’s Cinema Village.
The official synopsis reads: “In ‘Hard Labor,’ a straight middle-class couple slowly succumbs to the allures of entrepreneurship – and the horrors of an increasingly schizophrenic job market. Although emotionally in sync, Helena (Helena Albergaria) and her white-collar husband Otavio (Marat Descartes), suddenly find themselves at opposite ends of the labor force: just as she gets ready to open a grocery store (and become a business owner), he is fired from a “stable” job. As Otávio goes through a series of humiliating and ego-crushing job interviews (and is forced to re-invent himself for a new job market), Helena jumpstarts her grocery store in a mysterious (and progressively deteriorating) building. Soon enough, her enthusiasm for a better future begins to give way to a dark, pervasive doom – and Otávio’s self-upgrading morphs into an eerie transformation.Beautifully translating the evanescent forces of cyber-age economics into a Grand Guignol of kitchen-sink sensibilities, ‘Hard Labor’ is unlike any other Brazilian film you’ve seen in the last decade.”
Take a look at the official poster below: