Imagine the anguish of being separated from a sibling and, worse yet, that your own father is the source of the lies that caused the separation.
Drawn from the novel, the Shuswap Film Society’s next movie, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao, is the moving and emotional story of two sisters living in the same sprawling city (Rio de Janeiro), both believing the other is overseas living out their dreams.
Euridice is 18 and her older sister Guida 20 in 1950s Brazil, living with their controlling father and submissive mother. Euridice, a piano prodigy, dreams of studying at the Vienna conservatory. Guida, a bit of a wild child, with Euridice’s help and unbeknownst to her parents, elopes to Europe with a Greek sailor. Meanwhile, Euridice’s ambitions slip away as she is married off to a brutish family friend and accepts her fate of a middle class existence and a loveless marriage.
When Guida returns home alone and pregnant, she is shunned by her ashamed father and forced to live in the slums, trying to raise her child and eke out a living. Their father never tells Euridice her sister had returned and tells Guida that Euridice is in Vienna, vowing to keep them apart forevermore. The sisters find bearable ways of existing without the other, but the gut-wrenching search for their sibling goes on for decades. We ache for them to re-unite as their paths come excruciatingly close, but never quite intersect, sometimes missing each other by seconds.
Brazil’s submission for next year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar, The Invisible Life is a story about the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood and the resilience of women in a society stacked against them. Wonderfully acted, superbly cast and beautifully told. There is one graphic shot of the male phallus.
Subtitled, The Invisible Life shows at 4 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Classic Theatre.