Rânia (16) dreams of a career as a dancer – but if you live in the slums of Fortaleza, talent and effort are not enough. Carried by a beautiful leading role by Graziela Felix, Marques turns her feature debut into an ode to the energy and determination of young people.
An obsession with dance runs through the oeuvre of Roberta Marques. It’s an obsession with which she infected the protagonist in her first feature film. Rânia (16) dreams of a successful career as a dancer. That’s not a dream easy to realise, because Rânia lives in the slums of the northern Brazilian town of Fortaleza and has to work hard to survive.
Alongside her school career, she helps her mother with the housekeeping and has a part-time job in a beach bar. When she meets the choreographer Estela, who selects her for an international dance company, her life goes into top gear. Can Rânia realise her plans and maybe even earn her living dancing?
Instead of chosing a raw, social-realistic style that would be an obvious choice in a teenage drama taking such a close look at life, Marques made the daring decision to create a dreamy and tranquil mood. Not such an obvious choice when seen in the context of Rânia’s life, but it’s closer to the ambitions and dreams she so passionately yearns for.
Director: Roberta Marques
Production country & year: Brazil – 2011
Length: 85 min