Go backBack to selection

“The Visual Idea of a House Frozen in Time” | Pedro Freire, Malu

A white woman with long, curly dark hair wears a white tunic and stands smiling in the sunlight.Malu,courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Films are made of and from places: the locations they are filmed in, the settings they are meant to evoke, the geographies where they are imagined and worked on. What place tells its own story about your film, whether a particularly challenging location that required production ingenuity or a map reference that inspired you personally, politically or creatively?

The main location in Malu is the protagonist’s house, where 90% of the film takes place. The script is based on my own mother’s life, and this set is inspired by the house where I lived with her during my adolescence. The production design crew conducted thorough research, using old photos, and the result was fantastic: not only because it closely resembles the house I knew, but also because it manages to convey the visual idea of a house frozen in time, stuck in the middle of the construction process, which I consider a metaphor for the psychological stagnation of the protagonist and, ultimately, for the political stagnation of our country, Brazil. The crew’s work involved building an external room and structural changes in the main house. A few days before filming began, a torrential rain turned the external area into a muddy mess, much to our despair. However, upon seeing the state of that muddy exterior, I realized that we could use this image as another representation of the precarious situation Malu finds herself in—a woman who doesn’t lose her strength despite all the difficulties around her.

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.
© 2024 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham