The friction between truth and fiction and the power of performance to dissolve the difference between the two have long been subjects of some fascination to Brazilian director Eduardo Coutinho. An advertisement in a newspaper invites women in Rio de Janeiro to come tell their stories on camera. These interviews take place in an empty theater with a camera rolling. Later, the stories these women tell are reiterated by a series of actresses, shot in the same empty theater. Who is "acting" and who is "telling" is left unspecified by Coutinho as he interweaves the monologues - identical sentences spoken by two different women, in two different ways, jam up against each other in a series of jump cuts, and unless viewers instantly recognize the actress Fernanda Torres, say, they will have a hard time deciphering the real from the fake. (…) If that sounds like a rather dry intellectual stunt, rest assured, director's methods make Playing moving and surprisingly suspenseful.
Peter Scarlet , Tribeca FF 2008
In this film, the game to be played includes at least three acting surfaces: First, the real characters tell about their own lives; second, these characters become models challenging actresses; and last, some professional actresses play the game of talking about their real lives. The documentary challenges the characters and actresses to escape from the stereotypes and, somehow, to affirm themselves as singular subjects until the very limits of the game.
Eduardo Coutinho was born in 1933, in São Paulo. He studied at Institut des Hautes Études Cinematographiques (IDHEC) in Paris. He began his cinematographic career in fiction writing the script for features The Deceased (1965) and Garota de Ipanema (1967), both by Leon Hirszman and Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976) by Bruno Barreto. In 1984, he made Twenty Years Later that even today is a reference in documental cinema.
1968 O Homem Que Comprou o Mundo (kr.m. / short)
1971 Faustão (kr.m. / short)
1979 Exu, Uma Tragédia Sertaneja (kr.m. / short)
1985 Cabra Marcado Para Morrer / Twenty Years Later (dok. / doc.)
1987 Santa Marta - Duas Semanas no Morro (dok. / doc.)
1991 O Fio da Memória (dok. / doc.)
1993 Boca de Lixo (dok. / doc.)
1999 Santo Forte (dok. / doc.)
2000 Babilônia 2000 (dok. / doc.)
2002 Edifício Master (dok. / doc.)
2004 Peões (dok. / doc.)
2005 O Fim e o Princípio (dok. / doc.)
2007 Jogo de cena / Playing (dok. / doc.)