Brazil (1985) IMDb

Creators

Terry Gilliam (director).

Categorization

Black comedy and uchronian dystopia with some terror and fantasy action.

Subject

Sam Lowry is refusing to be promoted through a bureaucratic hierarchy of nitpicking oppression, torture and blameshifting, paid for by the victims. Sam dreams of another world, and when he sees a woman literally from his dreams he begins a quest to break out. The problem is that his society is both leaderless and consensual.

Commentary

This is the single best film I have ever seen. It’s a funny, horrible, sublime and tightly composed distortion of reality. Kafka meets Orwell, Huxley and Disney: The Leitmotif samba in Kamen’s score strongly resembles the one in “Saludos Amigos” (1942), from the time before Brazil got a military government whose agents carried out terrorism against its own population in the CIA’s “backyard”. The drift toward madness recalls Disney’s own sequel, The Three Caballeros (1944). In a Guardian interview (Andrew Pulver, 2013-09-02), Gilliam said Brazil was the start of a trilogy of ”dystopian satires”, followed in this context by Twelve Monkeys (1995) and The Zero Theorem (2013).

References here: Time Bandits (1981), The Meaning of Life (1983), Kafka (1991), The Hunger Games (2012), The Zero Theorem (2013).

fiction moving picture