Review of The Invisible Life of Euridice GusmaoSarah Bradley - Director
Our Real Latin America Expert
Sarah Bradley - Director
Managing Director Sarah Bradley joined as tour leader in 1987. Her vast travel experience and understanding of Latin America is invaluable. Book with Journey Latin America.
We first meet Euridice of the title, accompanied by her loving younger sister Guida, wandering the lushly verdant coastal cliffs beneath the distant, benign gaze of Cristo Redentor. We could be nowhere else but Rio de Janeiro. The famous statue, perched high on Corcovado granite peak, is both an evocative emblem of city and a hint towards the forces - conservative, patriarchal, religious - which will shape the lives these young women so dramatically.
Euridice, a talented pianist, dreams of studying in Europe. Guida, vivacious and impulsive, lusts for passion and adventure. But this is 1950s Brazil, and both women will be forced to confront the strictures and repressions of a society still rooted in patriarchy and prejudice.
When Guida runs away to follow her heart, romance inevitably bumps up against reality and she returns alone, unmarried and heavily pregnant and naively, perhaps, unprepared for her father’s mortified and wrathful response.
This beautifully photographed film follows the two sisters as they take their separate paths, each misled by their parents into believing the other lives a happy life elsewhere. The reality is starkly different, with one negotiating the struggles of daily survival, whilst the other lives a comfortable but unfulfilled life, her personal and artistic expression stifled by the weight of social and family expectation.
What could be an archetypal downbeat story about patriarchy and loss is lifted by a warmth and a distinct lack of self-pity amongst the female characters, who understand that the only way is forward and who both, in different ways, manage to carve out a space to be and to survive.
This was Brazil’s 2020 entry to the Best Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards and it sumptuously evokes the Rio de Janeiro of a bygone era - mid-century, mid-sized, almost bucolic. Many of the external scenes were clearly filmed in the flower-filled cobbled streets of Santa Teresa, Rio’s charming, colonial hillside neighbourhood, today a fashionable favourite with artists and tourists.
The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao offers a gritty but ultimately fulfilling and deeply moving story, one of loss but also of personal survival and the persistence of love. It’s a great watch before a Brazil holiday to really get a feel for the beautiful country.
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Real Latin America Experts
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.