Tamar Guimarães with Luisa Cavanagh and Rusi Millán Pastori

Video / Commissioned work


4 episodes
In Portuguese (with English and German subtitles)

Paranoia TV

Production specifics
Commissioned by steirischer herbst ’20

Produced by Luís Henrique Knihs Corrêa / Aqueles Filmes LTDA ME and Tamar Guimarães in coproduction with steirischer herbst ’20

Courtesy of the artist, Dan Gunn, London and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, São Paulo

Tamar Guimarães and collaborators Luisa Cavanagh and Rusi Millán Pastori imagined how to create a telenovela, or soap, to infiltrate the conspiratorial far right in Bolsonaro’s Brazil. How a group of left-wingers might join forces to game a populist system. Can a coalition of activists, artists and writers avoid tripping over their own assumptions and privileges to form something persuasive?

Telenovelas are a dominant medium in Brazil. High-gloss extravaganzas, nationally followed, their defining characteristics are an episodic format and limited run. Unlike other soap operas, they are usually centred on one central story. Telenovelas are popular across Latin America, but nowhere are the production budgets so lavish as in Brazil. Multiple subplots feature many characters, including both rich and poor households. Likewise, the audience is socio-economically diverse.

Guimarães, Cavanagh and Millán Pastori have woven a group of isolated, international urbanites into a disorienting drama of creative process and a struggle of ideologies. Whether it is possible to make a subversive soap to break into a world of Bolsonarist dance troupes and paramilitary patrols is the question which SOAP invites its constituted characters to answer.

A film in episodes by Tamar Guimarães in collaboration with Luisa Cavanagh and Rusi Millán Pastori

With (in order of appearance): Camila Mota, Claudia Medeiros, Christoph Eichhorn, Raphael Daibert, Alice Marcone, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Siddhartha Lokanandi
Directed by Tamar Guimarães
Executive producers: Carol Gesser and Luís Knihs
Cinematography: Manuel Abramovich and Rusi Millán Pastori
Script: Tamar Guimarães, Luisa Cavanagh, and Rusi Millán Pastori
Script support: Ana Teixeira Pinto, Avi Alpert, Camila Mota, Dan Gunn, and Luciana Vieira
Live sound: Melisa Liebenthal and Juliana R.
Production managers: Luís Knihs and Carol Gesser
Production assistant: Alessandro Danielli
Research advice: Ana Teixeira Pinto, Avi Alpert
Editing: Beatriz Pomar, Tamar Guimarães, Luisa Cavanagh, and Rusi Millán Pastori
Sound design and mixing: Contemporary Sound
Color grading: Luisa Cavanagh
Postproduction lab: Quanta
Translation and subtitles: Alessandro Danielli, Carol Gesser, Dan Gunn, Donato Silva, Tamar Guimarães
Title sequence: Dan Gunn