A bureaucratic woman in the divorce department of a near-future Brazil attempts to sway couples to join an unconventional therapy group with odd methods.
The future is fluorescent in Neon Bull director Gabriel Mascaro’s newest film, which imagines a 2027 Brazil where evangelism is the national pastime, permeating everything from mass raves to drive-thru priests. At the center of Mascaro’s neon-lit satire is the ultra-conservative government’s divorce clerk Joana (Dira Paes). A devout believer in a higher power, Joana tows professional lines when she convinces those seeking separation to sit in on a Divine Love therapy session. Divine Love is a mysterious, cult-like group that had been the key factor in saving the woman’s marriage to her husband Danilo (Julio Machado). Though the aging couple remains active in the bedroom, their prayers to conceive a child have not been met. When a revelation is made that calls her own beliefs into question, Joana will stop at nothing to see the Lord’s work to the end. Fantastically shot on 35MM and featuring an intoxicating synth-laden soundtrack, Mascaro’s vision of a post-Bolsonaro Brazil is erotic, terrifying, and often uncomfortably comedic. Divine Love sings its satirical gospel with such conviction, it will make a believer out of anyone.
CAST: DIRA PAES, JULIO MACHADO, EMILIO DE MELO, TECA PEREIRA
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