Winner of more than 50 international awards, including Best Actor (Selton Mello), Best Cinematography and a Special Jury Prize at the 2001 Havana Film Festival, and the Audience and Cinematography awards at the 2002 Buenos Aires International Film Festival, To the Left of the Father (aka Lavour Arcaica) is the "auspicious feature debut" (Dennis Harvey, Variety) of director Luiz Fernando Carvalho, the man who revolutionized Brazilian television in the 1990s by infusing it with cinematic language.
Based on the eponymous book by award-winning writer Raduan Nassar, To the Left of the Father is set in the Brazilian countryside and focuses on the relationship between a young man, André (Mello), and his religious but caring family. After running away from his Lebanese-Brazilian abode, André has to confront Pedro (Leonardo Medeiros), the older brother determined to convince him to return to the protective cares of their parents played by acclaimed Brazilian actors Raul Cortez and Juliana Carneiro da Cunha. Torn apart by an unresolved incestuous past with his younger sister Ana (Simone Spoladore), Pedro has to choose between a life of utopian freedom, removed from past connections, or, in the case of an eventual return home, a re-engagement with strict patriarchal norms.
This "splendid" (Howard Feinstein, The Village Voice) update on the return of the prodigal son shows "images of striking beauty" (Cecilia Sayad, Reverse Shot) and is considered one of the most original, poetic and emotionally complex Brazilian films made in the last decade.
"An auspicious feature debut" - Dennis Harvey, VARIETY
"Splendid" - Howard Feinstein, VILLAGE VOICE
"Lyrical, violent, rigorous, sensual..." - LES CAHIERS DU CINEMA
Montreal / Havana Film Festivals
WINNER BEST FILM
Sao Paulo / Cartagena Film Festivals