Pedro Alvarenga directs ‘Pra Gente Acordar (A New Dawn)’ for Gilsons.
Salvador, Bahia. During the World Cup 2002, two friends spend their last moments together, as one love emerges, while another one fades away.
Filmed in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
Words from Pedro below.
Where were you, and what do you remember about the 2002 World Cup?
The 2002 World Cup was the first time I felt a real connection with my country. I was only 5 years old at the time, but I can still remember how I felt once I understood that while it was night in Brazil, it was already daytime in Japan. Even though that may sound like something small, it was when I truly understood how big the world actually was.
The beginning of the millennium will always be remembered by the Brazilian people as a time when we felt like we could shake the world itself. We would stay up all night during parties watching and talking about the matches. Our football players were true magicians, which only contributed to my association with football as a divine manifestation.
The beginning of the millennium will always be remembered by the Brazilian people as a time when we felt like we could shake the world itself.
My memory of the final game was the starting point for the film’s script. It’s one of those moments when all Brazilians remember where they were, in the case of the film, the desire to build an ambiguous feeling on that key day for our country was the starting point of the story. In this way, the script was basically written backward.
How did the narrative elements come together? How was it inspired by Gilsons’ tracklist?
I think that all music carries an unconscious deeper meaning of many ideas within itself. It is up to the director to decode the feeling that the music tries to convey. It is a work of sensitivity above all. I often tell Francisco, the lead singer of the Gilsons, that when writing the script I don’t pay much attention to the lyrics. And it’s true. I’m more concerned with the subtext of the music because it’s this energy that will drive the construction of the entire structure of the film.
I think that all music carries an unconscious deeper meaning of many ideas within itself. It is up to the director to decode the feeling that the music tries to convey.
In the case of ‘Pra Gente Acordar’ we wanted to talk about the rebirth of love, a love that dies out while another is being born, all of this mashed with the idea of a rebirth for Brazil too, or better put, a rebirth of the pride of being Brazilian.
We are living through a very complicated period in our country with President Bolsonaro, who is a president who among so many brutalities, does not understand the value of culture. Today, half of the country has lost the joy and glow of wearing the shirt of our national team, which has become a symbol of support for the president. A new tomorrow can only be achieved by taking an attentive and thoughtful look into the past.
Why did you choose to set the film in Salvador, Bahia?
Salvador’s culture is very rich. When we chose the movie’s ambient unit, we weren’t concerned with the beauty of the setting. What we wanted was to make the audience feel truly immersed in this world as soon as the film started.
I like the metaphysical dimension of relationships, reincarnation, and the manifestation of the universe through affection, affinity, and connection of beings. Salvador is this land where the divine and the earth are both present in everyday life, the perfect place to talk about love and spirit within an everyday dimension.
In Brazil sport is a divine manifestation through the body, through the leg. Football is a religion. it’s where the communion of infinite possibilities combines in a move that changes the story of a family or an entire country.
Football is a religion. it’s where the communion of infinite possibilities combines in a move that changes the story of a family or an entire country.
We also chose Salvador for the amazing people who helped build the film: the cast and crew. The energy on set was really special.
Furthermore, the sound of the Gilsons is a sound that comes from Bahia, from Gilberto Gil, and from their ancestral culture. It is spirited music of faith and love. Our film is a reflection of all that.
What are you reading at the moment?
Torto Arado, by Itamar Vieira Jr. (Finally!)
- Guilherme Bolo
- Executive Producer
- Daniel Manzali
- Creative Producer
- Mauricio Fontura, Beatriz Torres
- Director of Photography
- Marie e Silas
- Francisco Gil
- Cosmo Cine
- Production Company