"I feel my heart burning in my chest.
I've never been so sure in my life."
In 1822, Maria Quitéria, a young woman from the Brazilian backwoods, runs away from her home and, disguised as a man, enlists herself in the National Army to fight for Brazil's Independence as well as her own freedom.
From a young age, Maria Quitéria found her land to be also a haven. She spent her free time riding, hunting and fishing, which were odd activities for a woman of those times. When she was 10 years-old, she dropped such activities in order to take on more responsibility at home as well as watching over her younger siblings after the death of their mother. When she turned 28, Quitéria realized that death returned to haunt her family while heated conflicts between the Portuguese and Brazilians spread rapidly. Taken by the desire to protect and to fight for her own freedom, she ran away from home and enlisted in the Army as Private Medeiros, who was eventually recognized for her hard work. She participated in historical moments such as the Pirajá and Itapuã battles, the attack by the women from Cachoeira against Portuguese soldiers and she also celebrated the Independence of Brazil on July 2nd 1823. Despite her bravery, she died anonymously in the city of Salvador, where there is a statue that pays a tribute to her.
As a filmmaker, I am interested in female fictional characters who go beyond the expectation of an archetype of a mere “strong woman”, by projecting themselves as complex and also flawed women. They are strong, but also sensitive; brave, but also vulnerable.
This humane perspective balances Quitéria’s story through a subjective and emotional point of view, which seeks to comprehend what drives her to put her life at risk by joining the war during an epoch when freedom could not be attributed to a feminine rhetoric.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Lara Carvalho is from Salvador-Bahia, she graduated in Cultural Production and holds a Master’s Degree in Communication from UFBA and a certificate in digital cinema granted by the New York Film Academy. She is a screenplay writer, producer and filmmaker with a 10-year experience in audiovisual projects. As the Audiovisual Supervisor of the 3rd Biennial of Bahia, Lara Carvalho equally wrote and directed the documentary “3rd Biennial of Bahia” and the web series “MAM Flamboyant”. She participated as the scriptwriter of the series “Malika” and “Fórmula Dreams” and was responsible for the podcast script of “Lunáticas”. Her series project “Escorço” was selected to participated in the Usina Drama 2017 and 2020 and became one of the finalists at the Sundance Episodic Lab; in 2019, her feature film script “Hasta Mañana” was a semi-finalist at Cabíria Award. Nowadays, Lara Carvalho develops her third short film “56 Days” and the documentary “Menarch”. Furthermore, she wrote an ebook named “A (Brief) History of Women in Cinema", which was contemplated by the Delmiro Gouveia Award. She is currently developing screenplays both for the animation series “Hyperkart” and the fictional miniseries “Escorço”.
Giro Planejamento Cultural – Under the direction of Flávia Santana, Gabriela Rocha and Joana Giron, Giro Planejamento Cultural is a company from Bahia focused on creating, consulting and developing creative actions in the field of cultural production, notably audiovisual. For seven years, the company has executed audiovisual projects through the support of public and private initiatives, such as three short films, that circulated in renowned national festivals; two film festivals; five projects of script development – including two fiction feature films, one fiction series and two animation series; two television documentary series; two documentary feature films, both in pre-production; and a fiction feature film, in post-production.
Lua de Maré Produções – Lua de Maré Produções was created in 2016 and aims at promoting artistic and cultural initiatives in Bahia through the elaboration, production and management of projects from diverse artistic languages, with focus on audiovisual projects. Founded by producer and filmmaker Lara Carvalho, the company provides services such as research for art projects, screenplay development for cinema, television, online platforms and podcasts, direction for audiovisual projects, and management for creative projects.