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Araby(Arábia)

André, a teenager, lives in an industrial town in Brazil near an old aluminum factory. One day, a factory worker, Cristiano, suffers an accident. Asked to go to Cristiano’s house to pick up clothes and documents, André stumbles on a notebook, and it’s here that Araby begins — or, rather, transforms. As André reads from the journal entries, we are plunged into Cristiano’s life, into stories of his wanderings, adventures, and loves.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Film Journal International by

Araby stays so grounded in acutely observed behavior, while still sufficiently elliptical in its storytelling methods, that it successfully avoids getting up on any particular soapbox.
80

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

Thanks to Mr. de Sousa’s superb performance, the movie often convincingly portrays not just the exploited condition of laborers such as Cristiano, but the nagging sadness of life itself.
88

Slant Magazine by James Lattimer

A carefree life on the move is steadily and exquisitely overtaken by melancholy in writer-directors João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa’s Arábia, the portrait of a meandering journey fueled by song, anecdote, and landscape that zeroes in on the pressures of contemporary Brazil almost in passing.
70

Village Voice by Matt Prigge

A soundtrack of folk/country classics takes the edge off, but make no mistake: This is a beautiful bummer, giving voice to someone who’s barely a number, but only to remind us that most of us are OK not thinking about numbers at all.
100

The Hollywood Reporter by Neil Young

An intriguingly structured, multilayered road movie in which an ordinary working-class dude looks back over a nation-wandering decade of his life, this second collaboration by the writer-directors is a cumulatively engrossing and ultimately very moving work of clear-eyed political intent.
90

Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

A migrant worker’s journal opens up a world for a disaffected teenager, and us, in Araby, a beautifully turned Brazilian movie that carries on as if a social-cause documentary and a folk song confessional had entered into a poignant embrace.

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