Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – The documentary “Constantino,” which tells the life story of the moviemaker Otavio Cury’s great-grandfather will be screened at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce auditorium on October 2nd at 7 pm in São Paulo. The session celebrates ten years since the shooting in Syria in 2009 and, after the movie, there’ll be a talk with the director. Admission is free and registrations can be made on this link. Pictured above, a scene of the movie.
“Constantino” runs for 80 minutes and is spoken in Portuguese, English and Arabic, subtitled in Portuguese. The movie was launched in 2012. “It was my longest, most challenging project,” Cury told ANBA. The idea of the documentary came about when the director went to Syria in 2001 and found his great-grandfather’s book, “Complete works by Daud Constantino Al-Khoury,” and decided to translate it into Portuguese. The book was translated three years later but has not yet been published.
“As September 11 happened and the world stood against the Arab and Islamic world, I tried to get closer to my background through my great-grandfather story,” he said. Constantino was as a journalist, actor, poet, and became an important figure for his time in Damascus and Homs from 1880 to 1920. He founded Homs’ first newspaper that is around until these days and was an important collaborator of the Syrian drama, being one of the first playwriters to ever stage plays in the Arab world.
“I show the political and historical background of those times but delve into my family’s lanes of poetry and memory about my great-grandfather,” explained Cury. The movie, he said, was born from a wish to translate the book and talks about the process of a “labyrinthine search with layers from the past. Everything gets mixed. The movie’s theme is time, memory, immigration,” he explained.
Cury recreates scenes from 2001, when he visited the country for the first time, staged his great-grandfather’s texts with Syrian actors on a Roman theater ruins. “I make a freer interpretation on a nonlinear narrative about this poetic journey through my family’s memory,” he said.
Otavio Cury was born in São Paulo in 1971 and, besides “Constantino,” directed documentaries “Cosmópolis,” “História de Abraim” and “Como fotografei os Yanomami.”
Check out the trailer below:
Constantino – commemorative session and talk with director
October 2nd, 7 pm
Arab Chamber’s auditorium
Avenida Paulista, 283, 11th floor
+55 (11) 3145-3200
Translated by Guilherme Miranda