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The Death of J.P. Cuenca

João Paulo Cuenca
A Morte de J.P. Cuenca
Brazil 2015 / 90’

Is it possible to make a film about one's own death? Inspired by true events, Brazilian writer and first-time director João Paulo Cuenca took up this challenge. In 2008, he learned that police had found his body in a building in Rio de Janeiro. What is more, a witness confirmed that the deceased was indeed Cuenca, showing his birth certificate to prove it. "Some people would be happy about this," says João in describing the bizarre situation, but it was just the beginning of what would turn out to be a difficult investigation. Why would someone steal his identity? Was it just a coincidence? The writer hires a detective and questions his former neighbors about his doppelganger. In the end, he gives up everything in his life in order to try to figure out the puzzle in an empty apartment. His paranoia gradually worsens as a result of anonymous and threatening phone calls. João Paulo Cuenca-like in last year's Performer by Oscar Dawicki-uses film to play with the idea of self-creation and forming an alternate identity. Real events provide the material for a fictional narrative straight out of the stories of Julio Cortázar, combining documentary conventions with a surprising lightness and a detective story. The Death of J.P. Cuenca is also a film about Rio and its stolen identity, a city ruled by developers, where entire streets disappear.

Mariusz Mikliński

João Paulo Cuenca

Born in 1978 in Rio de Janeiro, João Paulo Cuenca is a Brazilian writer considered to be one of the most talented authors of his generation. His first novel, Corpo presente, was published in 2003. His second book, O dia Mastroianni, published in 2007, brought him great acclaim and has been translated into German and Italian. Cuenca also writes scripts for television and stage plays. His first film made its European premiere at the CPH:DOX festival in Copenhagen.


2015 Śmierć J.P. Cuency / A morte de J.P. Cuenca / The Death of J.P Cuenca

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Cast & Crew

director João Paulo Cuenca
screenplay João Paulo Cuenca
cinematography Pedro Urano
editing Marina Meliande
cast João Paulo Cuenca, Ana Flavia Cavalcanti
producer Felipe Bragança
sales Duas Mariolas FIlmes
language Portuguese
colouration colour