Casa Grande | Review

The Kids Are All Right: Barbosa Explores Brazil’s Class Fissures in Evenhanded Debut

Familiar dramatic conflicts are elevated by strong performances and astute characterizations in Brazilian director Fellipe Barbosa’s directorial debut, Casa Grande. An exploration of significant class issues, a recurrent trope in many recent socially minded offerings from an increasingly exciting and prolific new generation of filmmakers in Brazil, Barbosa’s film premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival about a year before Anna Muylaert’s Sundance debut, The Second Mother, a similar economically tinged drama from the perspective of the working class characters.

Barbosa captures the shameful downfall of a well-to-do white family on their initial descent into financial ruin as witnessed by their 17-year-old son as he grows from clueless, privileged teen to rebellious, outspoken personality who discovers how to speak for himself. Though its subject matter might seem a bit too by the book,

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