'Divine Love' is a strange film: it begins as a vaguely sci-fi tale when we meet Joana, a woman who lives in the Brazil of 2027. It is a society where people's lives are documented and bar-coded to the nth degree: a person's marital status - and in the case of women, whether or not they are pregnant - are automatically detected and displayed for all to see when entering buildings. Joana and her husband are members of a religious group (the eponymous 'Divine Love') that encourages free love. But despite frequent sexual couplings with a variety of partners, Joana, to the couple's disappointment, never falls pregnant. When that situation changes, however, the film shifts to become more of a religious allegory.
I saw this at the 2019 London Film Festival (LFF), the programme of which included many films about people obsessing over having babies. If Joana's treatment of a litter of puppies is any indication of her caring instincts, I would not let her anywhere near a child, but animal cruelty aside it is hard not to feel sympathy for her, as actress Dira Paes gives the character dignity even in scenes shared with a cheesy 'drive-thru' pastor (Emílio de Melo in a gift of a role that he sensibly treats subtly rather than playing for belly laughs).
I am not sure I need to watch this again, but it was certainly worth watching once. I just hope the LFF programmers choose fewer baby-obsessive films next year...
Drama / Sci-Fi
Drama / Sci-Fi
Brasil, 2027. Joana, a forty-year-old civil servant, works as a notary at the divorce registration office, but her fervent Christian faith drives her to go beyond her job in an attempt to reconcile separated spouses. In order to do so, she has a secret weapon: she persuades them to join Divine Love, a group of which she is a member with her husband, Danilo who creates flower bouquets at their home. Group readings of holy writings, sermons, purifying immersion: Divine Love has everything you'd find in your average run-of-the-mill evangelical community, except that this group also likes to get involved in a bit of swinging - on the sole condition that the man's seed is reserved for his legitimate wife because "supreme pleasure comes from the divine desire to procreate life within the family. But Joana and Danilo are unable to conceive, because he is unable to reach a climax, despite his best efforts (swinging upside down on a machine being one of them). As a result, she has entirely ...
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 19, 2020 at 05:03 AM