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107. All The Dead Ones (Todos os Mortos); movie review

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Title : 107. All The Dead Ones (Todos os Mortos); movie review
link : 107. All The Dead Ones (Todos os Mortos); movie review

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Cert TBA
120 mins
BBFC advice: TBA

Sometimes I wish that movie-makers just focused on tackling one subject well without sidetracking the audience with artistic tangents.
All The Dead Ones could have been a fascinating expose of the fall-out of the abolition of slavery in Brazil.
Instead, it left me wondering what it was trying to say, particularly when it mixed a turn-of-the-20th-century narrative with a modern-day backdrop.
I was unaware of Brazil's ghastly history of exploiting African slaves but Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra's film prompted useful reading on the subject.
All the Dead Ones is set in Sao Paolo in the 1890s and focuses on the home of a previously well-to-do family.
The matriarch, Isabel (Thaia Perez) appears to have lost her lust for life, possibly because of the changes which have been forced upon her family.
She struggles to accept that people of colour are not at her call and, consequently, still speaks to them as if she is superior.
Her daughter, Ana (Carolina Bianchi) has mental health issues which prompt her to be aggressive and make reckless decisions. She still believes that black people are slaves.
Her sister, Maria, is a nun (Clarissa Kiste) who tries to engineer a situation which she falsely believes will help them, bringing former slaves back into their environment.
The only sense being spoken is by Iná (Mawusi Tulani) whose descendants immigrated from Angola and whose family were previously servants of Isabel.
Understandably, Iná looks back on those times as brutal and wants nothing more to do with the family but, against her better judgment, Maria persuades her to return.
This opens up the possibility that Iná's son (Agyei Augusto) might fall under their proverbial spell.
Thus, the storyline lays the foundation for a movie which should have been enlightening and enthralling.
However, there are too many strange distractions such as introducing a modern-day backdrop to outside conversations between Iná and her son.
What is that trying to say, if anything?
There is also the side issue of Ana seeing dead people and Iná trying to encourage the spirits via religion song and prayer.
All of the above went straight over my head.
As said, I wanted to know much more about Brazilian slavery but All the Dead Ones missed its chance to infirm me.

Reasons to watch: Focuses on the rarely seen moment in history
Reasons to avoid: It is quite hard to follow for the first hour

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 5.5/10

Did you know? 
During the Atlantic slave trade era, Brazil received more African slaves than any other country. An estimated 4.9 million slaves from Africa were brought to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866.

The final word. Caetano Gotardo: "The way that Brazilian society was organised after the end of slavery and the way it’s organized today were at the centre of our thoughts. We wanted to look at that historical moment with our eyes on the present." Variety

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