Dandara de Morais
Dandara de Morais
2020, 25min, BR
Dandara de Morais
2020, 25min, BR
As Vezes Que Não Estou Lá
As Vezes Que Não Estou Lá
Rossana sees and lives the world through the borderline glass. Among pliés, dancing delusions and harsh reality checks, she seeks her place in the world.
Directed by: Dandara de Morais
Executive Producer: Danielle Valentim
Director of Photography: Safira Moreira
Director of Art: Lia Letícia
Montage by: Ana Julia Travia, Dandara de Morais
Cast: Dandara de Morais, Aurora Jamelo, Anne Costa, Amethyst, Claudio Ferrario, ElianeSantos, Erick Felipe, Everton Gomes, Gustavo Patriota, Jean Santos, Maria Laura Catão, Meujael Gonzaga, Una Martins, Sophia Williams
Written by: Dandara de Morais
Costumes: Mariana Souza and Rayanne Layssa
Festival Canto da Sereia
River Film Festival (Itália)
Esto es Para Esto (México)
Lift Off Sessions (ONLINE)
Dandara de Morais is an actress, dancer and filmmaker from Recife, Brazil. She began her career in cinema as actress in the feature "August Winds". She had leading roles in brazilian productions such as "Sugar", "Superpina", "The Friendly Man", "The Last Yard" and "Quantos eram pra tá?". Found herself as storyteller and started writing, acting and directing her own movies. Dandara place herself as object-character from a desire to share her own experiences and an urgent need to recreate the representation of bodies with melanin in audiovisual works. As actress, she was awarded at Festival de Brasília de Cinema Brasileiro and as a director at Vitória and Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife Festivals. Nowadays she works as actress, director, writer, dancer in various arts; debuts her third short "The Times I’m not There" and is writing her first feature, the roadmovie "A Sequel of Countless Waves".
Malhação - Novela, Rede Globo (2010)
Loja de Répteis - Pedro Severien (2014,17min)
Ventos de Agosto - Gabriel Mascaro (2014, 77min)
Açúcar - Renata Pinheiro e Sergio Oliveira (2017, 87min)
Malasartes e o Duelo com a morte - Paulo Morelli (2017, 107min)
Os Filmes que Moram em Mim - Caio Sales (2018, 14min)
Simone: Estórias em Estação de Transferência - Renato Cândido (2018, 24min)
Superpina: gostoso é quando a gente faz! - Jean Santos (2018, 25min)
Bup - (2018, 7min)
Grito! Parte I: Mini Manifesto Feminista Interseccional em Imagens - (2018, 23min)
Quantos eram pra Tá? - Vinícius Silva (2018, 29min)
O Homem Cordial - Iberê Carvalho (2019, 83min)
Sem Ser Tocada - (em finalização)
Da Cor do Céu sem Nuvens - Helena Guerra (em finalização)
Rio Doce - Fellipe Fernandes (em finalização)
Uma Sequência de Muitas Ondas - (em desenvolvimento)
In the beginning, the film was called "CID F33", the code used by psychiatrists for recurrent depressive disorder, a disorder that I thought I suffered from, until 2019. When I was still in school, I began to show the first signs of mental illness. I began therapy and was soon referred to a psychiatrist, who said that I did not suffer from a disorder, but from a spiritual problem. He prescribed me controlled drugs that I took in huge quantities in my first suicidal attempt, ending up in the hospital. Ever since then, I was treated by 3 therapists and 6 psychiatrists, until I found the professionals who treat me to this day.
During this process, I suffered several types of violence, one of them portrayed in the film, which was the "abandonment" by one of the psychiatrists. No one could diagnose me, they thought I had depression, anorexia, bulimia, bipolar disorder, and I changed medication several times. Then, after the episode of violence, which I spoke about on social networks, came up a referral of a psychiatrist that treats me to this day. She was the first to suspect borderline personality disorder, and after a few months of treating me, she made up her mind on the diagnosis. I found that everything I felt was part of a devastating, suicidal, explosive mental condition that makes one transition between deep depression and euphoria. During this time, the script went through changes until becoming the film it is today, which is a portrait of aggressions I suffered for being black and borderline.
I heard things such as "you're picky", "you just want your parents to look at you", and to me, all this violence was the substrate of the work. All the situations that happen in it have been experienced by me. The good and the bad. My greatest desire was to bring to the screen a black ballerina, which was everything I've always wanted to be since I was a child, but I was hindered by my mental condition and by structural racism. At first, the film had no "delirium" scenes so to speak, it was a much more traditional film. Although it is backwards, the first versions looked much more like a classic drama.
My mind has always been a time-space traveler, creating and recreating surreal situations inside my head. It was when I watched “Random Acts of Flyness" that a portal was opened. I already knew that everything is a lie in films, but I did not know that I could create truths and use them in my favor. This series, and the short “Rebirth is Necessary", were major references for my work, and, together with my years of dedication and practice of dance, and also the trajectory of my first film “Bup”, I began to understand and to give pegasus wings to the script.
While the intellectual side of the brain was boiling, some kind of very noisy transformation was going on, crossed with a trillion new discoveries a day, several "ovens" being "knocked down" (like mirrors that were shattering), others were being built and relocated; on the existential side, having the correct diagnosis and finally a medication that made effect, I managed to see who I really was and was not, how many I am, what desires I have, what are symptoms and what is a symptom, what seems very symptom-y but is not, where I was hindered, where and who I am, many analyzes, many readings of what I write in notebooks and the urge to send forth something about someone who could be you.
I began to see new images, I saw how my disconnected nightmares could serve to reflect the character's distress, to purge my traumas, allowing me to add layers and layers for those who watch to catch onto sensations of my mind and my body.
I remember learning in some science class at school: "in nature nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”, and at some point in my artistic life I learned the famous "nothing is created, everything is copied" of which I am not a big fan. Maybe because I had these two statements resonating in my mind, I've always run away from answering when asked about references for my work, because I thought that having references would make me a copycat.
However, one statement fell flat. When I watched "Random Acts of Flyness", that I translate into Portuguese as "Atos Randômicos de Lombra", I realized I was wrong. I wasn't watching and then wanting to do the same. I understood that having references is like having a map. It's like having someone show you the way, but when and how you will arrive is something only you know. And the path is one of self-affirmation. I chose this work as my reference for the importance it had/has to me, to realize that my story deserves to be told the way I want, and that I can use all the tools available and also invent some new ones, if necessary. Unfortunately, it hasn't been subtitled in Portuguese, but I believe that by clicking "play" and dedicating all the senses to "watching" this work, you will also have trip inside your mind.
SANA (Dandara de Morais) - ballerina, teaches ballet for children and fit ballet for adults. Introspective, melancholic, and unstable. Her life revolves around dancing. She transits between sporty and hip. She likes caps. Music: Brujas by Princess Nokia
LIA (Aurora Jamelo) – fashion design student. Observant, introspective, and elegant. A ray of sunshine. She interns at Trocando em Miúdos and has only began producing her own clothing. Thrift-store chic. Music: Cranes in the sky by Solange
MARI (Erick Felipe) – an employee of the secretariat of culture and curator. Full of money. He's funny, has acid humor, is sagacious. He is a counselor at the galley, loves to travel - and to bring gifts. Knows all the dirt on the PSB government. Bald. Comfortable and elegant. Music: Garota de programa by Banda Brega.com
G.G. (Jean Santos) - writer and journalist. He freelances for independent magazines and zines, and covers art events. Very intelligent, critical, and sharp-witted. He met Sana in a contemporary dance class. He's dating Mari. Laid-back, wears genderless clothes. Music: Vitrines by Gilberto Gil EMBEDAR
Regina Valéria (Aninha Martins) – singer, performer, actress, and dancer. Has a contagious laugh, loves to tell stories about being stuffed. They met in contemporary dance. Harebo chic. Short-haired. Music: Paola by Aninha Martins
Boy – white, a scrub. He thing's he's the man, show-off rich dude. Photographer by profession and singer in a band of the scene Beto. Beard + mustache + floral/fruit print shirt combo. Paloso. Music: any by Belchior
Rebirth is Necessary, by Jenn Nkiro
Justification: "Rebirth is Necessary" was the film that I watched the most in order to get inspired. When I like something, I watch and re-watch it several times. I admire and discover the details that went unnoticed the last time, all the while thinking "this is amazing". I think that because it is a very dynamic film, narrated and shot in many different ways, I realized how my visions and audiovisual ideas were stiff. Although I do not understand everything that is spoken in it, the colors, textures, and transitions between acts fill my eyes and disturb my consciousness in a curious way.
Justification: Throughout life, I go about acquiring many fixations, and I organize my movement to somehow get closer to them. To me, this is one of the best dance performances. I catch myself stroking my face with my hand and raising my legs just like the ballerina, I also see myself in a very distant place that I do not know, that celebrates, vibrates, pulsates, as if I rediscover a part of me that has always existed without me knowing. I like it very much when the body speaks first and the verb comes later, there, she is telling me that yes, there is a lot of suffering and anguish, but side by side is a feeling close to joy and a celebration of itself.
Other Side of The Game, by Erykah Badu
Justification: "Do I really want my baby?" she destroys my heart with it. Erykah Badu looks you deep and transports you to her home, her gorgeous husband on whom you had a crush when you were a teen, the drama. The way she moves and sings makes time pass slower, and you get more and more involved in the plot. She breaks expectations with inversions of narratives and those who watch wonder what the hell is going on in that house. Suddenly, heartbeats, and it seems that it is happening inside of me. It is odd but at the same time soothing to watch a romantic story. In the end, it seems that everything's going to be fine. Even for those who watch, the ending comes with a feeling that even with run-ins and moments of everyday distress, everything will work out just fine.
Fantasmas, by Andre Novais Oliveira
Justification: By working with only one recorded image and even still captivate those who watch the harrowing narrative, this film makes me fall in love with it and I see it as a huge reference of experimental cinema. It is possible to make a film with only one image and one affliction.
Justification: Here, what captivates me the most is the choreography. The ballerina, in such simple dress, and making such simple moves, gradually changes tone without having to introduce new elements. What amazes me is the way in which the choreography dialogues with the crescendo of the music. In the end, we explode together.
Way To The Show, by Solange
JJustification: This video taught me how to be stylish with few elements. Quantity is not always quality, and this statement is well illustrated here. To me, the camera movement and the way Solange tells her story are mesmerizing. I watch, and I have a desire to be there with her. Or to get my stories and tell them in a simple but well-constructed narrative and visual way.
Justification: I can't describe why I chose this movie. I can only say that I like the way it makes me feel like I'm in a conversation with Beyoncé when I watch it. She tells me her feelings through the stitching of images of different textures and also with her first-person voice narration. It is simply welcoming and provocative. I watch, wishing to be part of that show, that ballet, that achievement. Blending intimate moments and work moments, I feel like I can be that very powerful woman.
Little Girl Blue, de Nina Simone
Justification: This album reminds me of a time when I could see the river from my bedroom window. There's something magical about it that only accesses the good times I lived in that apartment. I used to live on the 2nd floor and to sit on the windowsill or lie on the bed and put my feet out and look at the sky. I have a habit of always being at the window or as close as possible to see the infinite that is this world. When I listen to her, I feel embraced to do what I want, having Nina's voice as a guide.
When I Get Home
Justification: I speak English, but that doesn't mean I can understand all the lyrics of the album. Not understanding for me is also part of the creative process, when you do not understand, you look for answers within yourself. The album awakens many sensations inside of me, whether to stay lying down, or to look at the sky, or to dance or, to put it to keep me company when I sleep. I would very much like to include here in the list of references the visual album of the same name, but I couldn't find it.
Random Acts of Flyness
by Terence Nance (2018, 5 Eps, USA)
Viewer's Discretion - Not recommended to people under 18
Sinopsis: MVMT's Random Acts of Flyness is the kind of television series that breaks the
mold of what we think television is and can be, especially televisual blackness. The series
brilliantly assembles black sonic, visual, and literary worlds into a 21st century cut ‘n’ mix
black aesthetic of absurdity, critique, affirmation, and fun—perfectly suited to explore black
vulnerability, violence, death, racism, body politics, transsexual and gender nonconformity,
women’s health and safety, and masculinity, routed through black love and black face. Most
importantly, it does so without a preoccupation with white gaze or desire. The series was
created by Terence Nance and premiered August of 2018 on HBO.
Shortt sinopsis:Late-night series from artist Terence Nance featuring a mix of vérité
documentary, musical performances, surrealist melodrama and humorous animation as a
stream-of-consciousness response to the contemporary American mediascape.