Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Luz: The Light of the Heart

 As adults we are always looking for something unique to amuse us.  Netflix has brought a children's series from Brazil.  That makes it unique right away.   

Indigenous rights and diversity are both on display.  These are maybe issues  not something we associate with Brazil.  One location is a school that seems progressive.  The other location is tribal lands.  Black and white students and teachers plus a phys ed teacher in a wheelchair are prominent.  A baby had been kidnapped and conveyed to a Kaingang tribe who raised her up to age 9. giving an indigenous perspective.

She then runs away and ends up in a private boarding school  and interacts with students her age plus some adults.  This series is full of secrets that are revealed to the watcher every few episodes while some of the characters remain ignorant of key facts.  The "Monster Grandfather" is evil.  He does not feel love for real relatives as they are the result of improper relationships.  In his efforts to restore his sick idea of justice he is able to manipulate and mislead. 

My access to background information is not as helpful as usual, but what is available might enhance your enjoyment.  It is well put together.

The directors are listed as follows: Giovnna Machline, Rogerio Sagui and Thiago Teitelroit.

The writers are listed Ana Duras, Guillermo Pendino, Andre Rodrigues and Tereza Temer.

Rumori Deseo Sonaro is responsible for the music.  Near as I can tell that is really a company

Cinematography is credited to Daniel Paulino.  He has 14 credits under Camera and Electrical Department and this is perhaps his first cinematography responsibility. 

 Mari T. Becker is the editor.  She has 15 credits as editor and another 20 in the editorial department including an American movie.

Marianna Santos plays the title character, the charming Luz.  She had been noted for singing and dancing. She has 3 film credits.

Daniel Rocha plays Marcos, a helpful and likable adult.  He plays the violin.  He attended a school for performers at age 17.  He has 20 film credits including as a leading man in soap operas.

Claudia di Moura plays Ga and indigenous leaders who helps Luz.  She has 10 credits.

Gabriela Moreyra plays a bookstore owner.  She has 15 film credits.

Mel Lisboa plays Valeria, an agent of the "Monster Grandfather."  She has 38 film credits and has performed in the theater.  In 2004 she posed for Brazil Playboy.

There are many roles that play a part in the plot.  Despite my lack of information please be assured the production is professionally done.   I have enjoyed some other Brazilian films, but could find no connections.

 A few other notes.  

The term "Indigenous" is used frequently, partly to correct characters who use the incorrect term "Indian."

An underlying gimmick is the use of fire flies.  They are not magical super powers, but they are effectively and attractively used symbolically.  

Should you let your children watch?  There is no explicit sex or gross violence, although both are suggested.  There are 20 episodes that are mostly about 1/2 hour each, dubbed or subtitled  If they are old enough to read subtitles they might understand the story better, but dubbing will let them concentrate on the plot.  Who can tell what young children understand?  They can enjoy at one level while failing to understand underlying factors. The children set a good example to the adults who are mostly decent, except for the Monster Grandfather.  The school itself is progressive.  Let yourself into the story and adults could enjoy with their children or even by themselves.  I found myself binging. 

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