An arresting trailer has arrived for Petra Costa’s stunning-looking personal documentary “Elena.” The film touches on a very painful subject for Costa, who investigates the disappearance of her older sister, who made the big move to New York when the director was only seven years old, only then to disappear, as letters home became more infrequent and then eventually ceased entirely.
Here’s the official synopsis, which goes into more depth on the twisty story:
Elena, a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with the
same dream as her mother, to become a movie actress. She leaves behind her
childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She
also leaves Petra, her seven year old sister. Two decades later, Petra also
becomes an actress and goes to New York in search of Elena. She only has a few
clues about her: home movies, newspaper clippings, a diary and letters. At any
moment Petra hopes to find Elena walking in the streets in a silk blouse.
Gradually, the features of the two sisters are confused; we no longer know one
from the other. When Petra finally finds Elena in an unexpected place, she has
to learn to let her go.
First premiering in 2012, the film has had a rich festival life — if a slow path to distribution — playing the international fests in Buenos Aires and Reykjavik to name a couple. It comes to New York’s IFC Center on May 30, and then expands to LA and other cities across North America on June 13.
Hat tip to the Playlist, who nabbed the trailer exclusive.