Hot Docs review: Obscuro Barroco

Evangelia Kranioti's homage to Brazilian trans icon Luana Muniz is a dreamy acid-trip through Rio's queer nightlife


OBSCURO BARROCO (Evangelia Kranioti, France/Greece). 60 minutes. Rating: NNNN


France-based, Greek-born artist Evangelia Kranioti’s second feature-length film is a dreamy acid trip through Rio de Janeiro’s queer nightlife. Transgender activist and underground icon Luana Muniz is the film’s guide, reciting poetic lines from late author Clarice Lispector’s experimental monologue Água Viva.

Like that book, Obscuro Barrocco avoids traditional narrative, drifting through clubs, street protests and carnival celebrations to capture the interplay of lights, fireworks, reflections, colour, gyrating bodies and the particular textures of makeup, glitter and aging body parts. It’s a dream-like film essentially fusing partying with politics, and Rio’s dazzling geography and architecture with human forms to suggest things otherworldly and transcendent.

Pure visceral entertainment.

May 2, 9 pm, Hart House May 3, noon, Scotiabank 13 May 6, 1:15 pm, Scotiabank 13

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