Sun 10/23/2022 • 7PM - 9PM PDT
Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum
director Karim Aïnouz.
Director Karim Aïnouz brings a visceral, sensuous take to the biopic well suited to his subject, João Francisco dos Santos. The Afro-Brazilian descendent of enslaved people, dos Santos became a living legend as an openly gay, street-fighting caberet star whose drag persona Madame Satã (after DeMille’s Madame Satan) revolotionized Brazilian Carnival culture in the 1940s. The film begins years before when dos Santos (Lázaro Ramos) was still just an outlaw hustling in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro’s crumbling red light district. A master of capoeira with an affinity for Scheherazade and Josephine Baker, dos Santos battles cops and cons alike, drawing around him a tender family of outcasts, prostitutes and petty thieves. Lázaro Ramos channels these seeming contradictions into a stunning performance cultimating in Madame Satã’s first appearance on stage. 20 years after its original release, Madame Satã still seethes with liberating energy from start to finish.
35mm, color, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 105 min. Director: Karim Aïnouz. Screenwriter: Karim Aïnouz, Marcelo Gomes, Sérgio Machado, Mauricio Zacharias. With: Lázaro Ramos, Marcélia Cartaxo, Flávio Bauraqui.
Co-presented with Film Quarterly