The walls in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte are inundated with painted pictures and words, from stunning murals to old-school graffiti, and from enigmatic cries from the heart to furious cursing. Marcos Pimentel uses his mostly static camera to capture an impressive number of these public statements.
He paints a picture of the city as a canvas for artists, poets, and outraged citizens. There are expressions of love in all its varieties; someone has scrawled the word “impotent.” We are instructed to fuck the system, and informed that Jesus lives—though elsewhere someone claims he will only be returning to Earth in 2070.
The film begins inoffensively enough, but the tone gradually turns more political and bleak. “Lula must go” is an old slogan, but now it’s time for Bolsonaro to go as well, so Lula’s got to come back. “Death to the president!” “Save the Amazon!” Strident words demand rights for women and combating racism. Meanwhile, life goes on, with cars driving past, buses stopping, and pedestrians hurrying along—some of them unaware of the artwork behind them, others quickly snapping a selfie.