// Presented as part of June's Spotlight on Brazil Series //
Cláudio Assis / 2015, Brasilia, Munich / 97'
Xico is an adolescent boy who spends his days either riding around in his father's sanitation truck emptying septic tanks; fraternizing with his wild-eyed uncle Nelson; or retreating into his own world of poetry, which his father dismisses as either a symptom of his uncle's salacious influence or Xico's nascent homosexuality. It is a world in which much is felt, but little happens. Ultimately Xico must choose whether to remain in Stonefish or pursue his dreams elsewhere.
Cláudio Assis's fourth film examines the themes of his previous films— music, literature, alcohol, vagrancy, and art as a force of salvation— through the eyes of a young man on the brink of adulthood. Big Jato premiered at Munich and Brasilia, where it won Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Film.
"Big Jato also delves a very Brazilian affair: the relationship between the hinterlands and the sea. The town of Stonefish is a reference to the fact that the area was under the bottom of the sea, with abundant fish fossils. Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha epitomised the matter in his film Black God White Devil (1964) and famously prophesied: 'the hinterlands will turn into sea, and the sea will become the hinterlands.' Xico too longs for the sea, and his poetical coming-of-age is akin to a country in constant mutation, just like its landscape... An urgent film made during a dangerous time when very reactionary forces in Brazil and the world are rising, a strong reminder that only culture can stop the clocks from turning back, and only art can liberate."
- Victor Fraga, Film Review, DMovies