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Suely in the Sky

Karim Aïnouz
O céu de Suely
Brasil, France, Germany, Portugal 2006 / 90’

After living in Sao Paulo for two years 21 year-old Hermila returns to her village in Northeastern Brazil with her new-born son. Living with her mother, she anxiously awaits the arrival of her husband Mateus. As she spends her time working odd jobs, hanging out with her old friends, dancing and drinking, it slowly becomes apparent that Mateus will not come back. It's out of loneliness that she renews a relationship with an old boyfriend, João Miguel. But Hermila knows that she shouldn't live in the past and that she has to flee this stifling small-town environment where everyone knows her business. Inspired by her newfound friend and local prostitute Georgina, she devises an unlikely plan to raise funds. Hermila adopts the name Suely, an act of resilience that distances her from her family and marks the beginning of a jouney that will take her to the coveted freedom.

Venice IFF 2006


The Northeast of Brazil is traditionally a place of emigration. It is distant, dry and isolated. I was raised there, in a family where most of the men left. They went South. I was brought amongst those who stayed, the women. They were sturdy, delicate and fun. I have always tried to imagine what it would be to break that pattern: what if the women fled, leaving everything behind? The first image I had in mind for the film was one of a woman in a bus or plane, leaving, alone, a slight smile on her face. I wanted to portray a character full of insolence, delicacy, and courage, able to turn things upside down, to invent solutions for her own life.

Karim Aïnouz

Karim Aïnouz was born in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 1966. He studied architecture at the University of Brasilia and Cinema Studies at the New York University. His innovative short features O Preso and Paixão Nacional and his documentary film Seams were shown in over fifty festivals in Brazil and abroad, and at New York City's Museum of Modern Art. His first feature film Madame Satã (2002) received world wide critical acclaim, after its premiere at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.


1992 O Preso

1993 Seams (kr.m. / short)

1996 Hic Habitat Felicitas

1996 Paixao Nacional / Irreversible Metabolic Shock (kr.m. / short)

1998 Les Ballons des Bairros

2000 Rifa - me

2002 Madame Satã

2006 O Céu de Suely / Suely in the Sky

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