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Poster for Charcoal
Watch trailer for Charcoal Watch trailer


Opens on April 27

Director: Carolina Markowicz Run Time: 107 min. Release Year: 2022 Language: Portuguese

Starring: Camila Márdila, César Bordón, Maeve Jinkings, Pedro Wagner, Rômulo Braga

Somewhere in the Brazilian countryside, married couple Irene (Maeve Jinkings) and Jairo (Rômulo Braga) and their nine-year-old son Jean (Jean Costa) live with Irene’s bedridden father in a precarious, stagnant situation, barely making ends meet out of their small charcoal production business.

Their strained lives change when a shady nurse offers them a diabolical deal: put their elder to rest and host instead an Argentinian drug kingpin who urgently needs a place to hide. Hesitant at first, Irene agrees and opens her house to the drug lord in distress, who expected a dramatically different experience for his forced exile. This surreal change in the family dynamic undoes their ties in unexpected ways. Their new-found income allows them to regain some power over their overwhelming realities, but actual hope will prove much harder for them to find.

For her unsettlingly precise feature film debut, writer/director Carolina Markowicz blends biting social commentary on the pervasive forces that prey on the least fortunate and an acute sensibility for deadpan comedy of a very dark kind, making us question the limits of the absurd. The subtly shifting points of view often take us back to little Jean, whose cold and witty analysis of the situation amplifies the disturbing motifs that lie at the heart of this bizarre story.

—Diana Cadavid, Toronto International Film Festival

In Portuguese and Spanish with English subtitles

Brattle passes not accepted.


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