When Afro-Brazilian filmmaker Denize Galiao starts feeling that sorrow of loss again, her father sighs and says, “Forget about saudade and carry on.” An old Brazilian legend says that the African gods created the feeling of saudade to remind people where they come from and where they are. And that’s just what she’s suffering from. Twenty years ago Galiao emigrated to Germany, where her dream of becoming a filmmaker came true. But the papayas there never taste as good as in Brazil.
Galiao’s parents live in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, and thanks to Skype her birth country is never far away. Now that her parents need more support, the sense of dislocation is really making its presence felt. “You are physically present, while your mind is somewhere else.” This short film explores and defines the feeling in various ways, both positive and negative.
Saudade is a richly layered film about emigration and identity, and about how culture forms your worldview. Will returning to Brazil liberate Galiao from this feeling?