The Fever, directed by Maya Da-Rin
The Fever directed by Maya Da-Rin

The Brazilian film The Fever (A Febre), the debut fiction feature from Brazilian director Maya Da-Rin will open virtually on Friday, March 19 at Film at Lincoln Center in New York City, and other virtual cinemas nationwide via KimStim.

Winner of the Best Director Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, the Best Actor, International Critics, and Special Jury Awards at the Locarno International Film Festival, and an official selection at New Directors/New Films, Mar del Plata, TIFF, Rotterdam, Pingyao, and Thessaloniki, among others, The Fever is a mesmerizing portrait of the subtle yet profound details of the confrontation between indigenous ways of life and the pressures of Western urbanization set in Manaus, an industrial city surrounded by the Amazon rainforest.

The film follows Justino, a 45-year-old member of the indigenous Desana people, who works as a security guard at the Manaus cargo port. Since the death of his wife, his main company is his youngest daughter who he lives with on the outskirts of town. A nurse at a local health clinic, Vanessa is accepted to study medicine in Brasília, and plans to leave shortly.

As the days go by, Justino is overcome by a strong fever. During the day, he fights to stay awake at work. During the night, a mysterious creature follows his footsteps. Meanwhile, a visit from his brother makes him remember the life he left deep in the jungle twenty years prior. Between the oppression of the city and the distance of his native village, Justino is no longer able to endure an existence without a sense of belonging.

An empathetic interrogation of the relationship between indigenous cultures and Western civilization which has marked Brazilian history since the colonial period, Maya Da-Rin’s The Fever is a powerful indictment of the nature of progress at a moment when more and more indigenous communities face territorial and pathogenic devastation as brought on by mass deforestation and the COVID-19 health crisis.

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