...beste Schauspielerinnen auf dem Sundance Film Festival für die Hauptdarstellerinnen beweist, wie wirklichkeitsnah und lebensfroh Anna Muylaert in ihrem vierten Spielfilm "Der Sommer mit Mamã" ihr Können präsentiert und dabei auch außerhalb Brasiliens mit der Spiegelung des Lebens zwischen Mutterschaft und Erwerbsarbeit fasziniert.
Der Filmtitel spiegelt mit seinen unterschiedlichen Übersetzungen bereits eine Kurzfassung des Inhalts wider. Im brasilianischen Original fragt die zurückgelassene Tochter mit "Que horas ela volta?"/"Wann kommt sie zurück?", nach der abwesenden Mutter. Für diese steht als "The Second Mother"/"Die zweite Mutter" jedoch ihr Job als Haushaltshilfe in Sao Paulo im Mittelpunkt. Der deutsche Titel "Der Sommer mit Mamã" bezieht sich auf die filmische Erzählzeit, in der sich Mutter und Tochter nach langen Jahren ohne Kontakt ihrer Gegenwart und Vergangenheit stellen.
Frauen im Filmgeschäft sind in vielen unterschiedlichen Jobs präsent, schaffen es jedoch meist nur als Schauspielerinnen auf den Roten Teppich. Obwohl das Verhältnis, wie auch bei vielen anderen Studiengängen, heute an den Filmhochschulen weitestgehend ausgeglichen ist, verliert sich die Sichtbarkeit von Frauen danach. An diesen Stellen hakt die Interviewreihe von AVIVA-Berlin nach und lässt Frauen rund um den Film, vor und hinter der Kamera, antworten.
Anna Muylaert:, geboren 1964 in Sao Paulo, Brasilien, studierte von 1980 bis 1984 Film an der Universität Sao Paulo und führte Regie bei mehreren Kurzfilmen. Sie arbeitete als Filmkritikerin für wichtige brasilianische Zeitungen und Magazine und entwickelte verschiedene TV-Serien für Kinder. Bereits ihr Debütfilm "Durval Discos" (2002) erhielt mehrere Auszeichnungen, ebenso wie "E Proibido Fumar" (2009), dann folgte "A Chamada Cobrar" (2012), bei allen führte sie Regie und schrieb das Drehbuch. Bei international erfolgreichen Filmen, wie "Das Jahr, als meine Eltern im Urlaub waren" (2006), der im Generationenprogramm der Berlinale 2007 lief und 2006 die brasilianische Oscar-Einreichung war und "Xingu" (2012), der auf der Berlinale 2012 seine Weltpremiere hatte, war sie am Drehbuch beteiligt.
AVIVA-Berlin: You are a "Paulista", born in Sao Paulo, where you studied film and in the 1990s founded the production company "Africa Filmes". In your four feature films, starting with your debut "Durval Discos", which won several awards, until now in "Que horas ela volta?" ("The Second Mother") this megacity gives the background to your films with its enormous contrast and living conditions.
How does Sao Paulo influence your work?
Anna Muylaert: Well, as you said I have always lived here. So… All my film´s stories are always born here, developed here and meant to be filmed here. And of course I try to give them a local flavour, although most of them – I think – are universal stories that could theorically take place in other big cities of the world with the correct adaptations.
AVIVA-Berlin: The famous Brazilian actress Regina Casé and the young Camila Márdila won for their play in "Que horas ela volta?" at the Sundance Festival 2015 the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting. At the Berlinale 2015 the film got the Audience Award. Besides directing you wrote the screenplay about a mother (Regina Casé), who left her child (Camila Márdila) to work as live-in housekeeper in Sao Paulo.
How did you develop this story?
Anna Muylaert: This film has developed over twenty years. It started with a screenplay called "The Kitchen Door", and the plot was more about the employer - nanny relationship, and the style touched magical realism. When the script was ready I decided that I was not mature enough to film it and then I looked for a simpler story that was my film "Durval Discos".
Five years later I decided to go for something more realistic. I had the nanny´s daughter coming to São Paulo to share her mother´s fate: leaving her world behind in order to take up a low-paying job. However, I felt the need to inject some hope into the character. While I was working on ways to do that, without the film sliding toward some false happy ending, Brazil elected a president from the Worker´s Party and things began to change. Labor law amendments were introduced that practically eradicated live-in labor.
In 2013, just as the film was going into production, I finally sat down and rewrote the script in such a way as reflected these changes and debates. Instead of portraying the nanny´s daughter as hapless and meek – as per the cliché – I gave her a forceful personality; made her noble and strong enough to stand up to these separatist social rules, a throwback to a colonial past.
AVIVA-Berlin: Your film is a worldwide success and at first glance the story feels specific Brazilian, but it reflects also global working conditions. To what extent did this influence your thought?
Anna Muylaert: Since the first screenings in Sundance and Berlinale we realized the housemaid issue discussions were soon developed to wider discussions about power relationships, social gaps and boundaries, prejudice, freedom, self empowerment, education etc.
Those very Brazilian set of rules were very similar to the behaviour of people around the world, not only inside the houses but also at the office, at the street, even in the airplanes. I am very satisfied that an specific story could make people think about wider and such important issues.
AVIVA-Berlin: You created three powerful female characters for the story. The hard-working Val is visited by her grown-up daughter Jéssica, who doesn´t accept the expected rules at her mothers work- und livingplace. That brings both in trouble with the other mother, employer and working woman Dona Bárbara.
It seems to be big differences between the classes and the generations. Which conditions do you to reflect with these female identities? You started writing the script after your first child was born...
Anna Muylaert: I think that in Brazil the work of a mother is not valued. Taking care of kids, cooking for kids, bathing kids etc is very rarely made by men and it´s not a valued work. It´s a work that can be done by maids with low salarys. So, if this work - which I consider the most important work we could do in life - is not valued, so aren´t women – who are generally considered second class citizens.
I think these 3 female characters, although very different, are all hard workers. Dona Barbara comes from a better background, she is trying to build a career, but she still depends on the husband´s money. She can be honest until a certain point. After that she has to lie to get what she wants. Maybe that´s why she has a certain level of arrogance and might feel better than others.
Val comes from a poor background and didn´t have a proper education. She seems to be destined to serve the richest as well as she can. It´s obvious to me, that despite all her inner shine and strength, she feels worse than their patrons.
Jessica is young, and although she doesn´t have money, it seems she had a good guidance and education. She has enough personal power to fight for what she wants and not to feel "better or worse than anybody". But the fact she had a baby being so young is a social sign in Brazil.
AVIVA-Berlin: Senhor Carlos, the husband of Dona Bárbara, explains Jéssica that he has so much money and that his wife is only going to work for her prestige. With Dilma Rousseff Brazil has a female president in the second legislative period, who fought as partisan against the former dictatorship.
How do you see the situation of women in the Brazilian society today?
Anna Muylaert: As I said before, we are still considered second class citizens. You mention Dilma Roussef: You cannot imagine how people can be disrespectful to her on the press or social sites just because they didn´t like a certain dress or hair style. They try to put her down not for the right reasons, but by saying she´s not elegant or overweight.
As women, we have to fight double to get half the respect men have in a similar situation. As I have been discussing with some friends, part of this happens because we spend more time working than making propaganda of our own work, while men seem to spend much more time and energy on saying good things about themselves.
AVIVA-Berlin: To increase the proportion of women in the filmbusiness, allover the globe initiatives like "Women in Film" ("WIF"), Women´s Film Festivals and associations like the German "Pro Quote Regie" ("Per Quota to Direct") were formed.
What position do women have in the Brazilian film business?
Anna Muylaert: I don´t have numbers to be precise on this answer. I think women are fighting for their position as producers, as directors and technicians, but my personal experience is that when you get near to money business – we are not often invited. And very rarely respected.
AVIVA-Berlin: As a screenwriter you have contributed to the scripts of "Xingu" about the Amazon region and the interaction with the residents and "O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias" ("The Year My Parents Went on Vacation") about Brazil under military dictatorship till 1985. Both stories are not only settled in the history but also contain facts with which Brazil of today has to deal with.
How important is the political dimension for you in your work?
Anna Muylaert: Because I am a very passionate person, I don´t accept any job that doesn´t mean something challenging to me. I don´t like to spend my time, my brain and my heart doing something that I don´t believe that might give a contribution to our time and society.
AVIVA-Berlin: Because it piqued my curiosity, an individual question regarding a detail: as Val hangs up washing for some more seconds a Ramones T-shirt can be seen on the clothes line. How did this come about?
Anna Muylaert: We wanted Fabinho to wear the normal black rock T-shirts that this kind of kid wears. It could have been Sex Pistols or Police… I just did not want to use Rolling Stones because I have them in my previous films!
AVIVA-Berlin: You worked as a film reviewer, screenwriter, director and producer for TV and film and developed TV series for children. What are your plans for the future? Can we look forward to a new film project?
Anna Muylaert: My favourite work is writing and directing my own films. But I am open to work for TV, if I like the project. Last year I have already shot a new feature called "There is only one mother" that I am editing now. When it gets ready, I don´t know what I will do – probably stay at home and rest!
AVIVA-Berlin: Thank you very much, we wish you success for your film "Que horas ela volta?" and your future projects!
Anna Muylaert: Thank you!!!
Weitere Informationen zum Film "Der Sommer mit Mamã" unter:
Der Sommer mit Mamã
Ein Film von Anna Muylaert
mit Regina Casé, Michel Joelsas, Camila Márdila, Karine Teles, Lourenço Mutarelli u.a.
eine Produktion von Gullane, Africa Films und Globo Filmes
im Verleih von Pandora Film
Weiterlesen auf AVIVA-Berlin:
Anna Muylaerts Film "Durval Discos" eröffnet das Filmfestival zum Neuen Brasilianischen Kino im Arsenal 2003
Camila Morgado im Interview über ihr Kinodebut "Olga"
"Paulista - Geschichten aus Sao Paulo" - Filmrezension
Sandra Boccia, brasilianische Marie Claire-Redakteurin zu Besuch in der AVIVA-Berlin-Redaktion
Interview mit Grit Lemke, Leiterin des Filmprogramms DOK Leipzig
Interview mit der Filmdramaturgin Kyra Scheurer
Interview mit der Regisseurin Isabell Suba
Gender Bias without Borders - erste weltweite Studie zur Diskriminierung gegen Frauen in der globalen Filmindustrie
Pro Quote Regie - Zusammenschluss von Regisseurinnen in Deutschland
Copyright Foto von Anna Muylaert: Anna Muylaert