Sundance Interview: Gabriel Mascaro on His Near-Future Drama Divine Love, the Seductive Tactics of Religion, and Body Politics

Filmmaker Magazine | 2/2/2019 | Carlos Aguilar
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by Carlos Aguilar

Eroticism in service of faith is the thematic dogma fueling Gabriel Mascaro’s new intellectual affair Divine Love, a near-future drama with measured science fiction elements.Trading the carnal sensuality of 2015’s Neon Bull for extreme religious devotion, the Brazilian auteur continues to captivate with visually seductive frames laced with eye-catching colors and ethereal lighting.

Director - Vision - Brazil - Years - Battlefield

Futuristically restrained, the director’s vision of Brazil in 2027, just a few years from our current battlefield of a world, is selective in its use of technology, focusing on inventions or machines that directly speak to the protagonist agenda: doors with pregnancy detectors in public spaces and a device emanating infrared light to combat infertility in men. Navigating this increasingly traditionalist reality, married couple Joanna (a stunning Dira Paes) and Danilo (Julio Machado), are devout evangelicals longing to fulfill their Christian duty of procreation.

Driven by a conviction so strong doubt is sacrilegious, she exploits her position as a bureaucrat to advance her agenda and prevent divorces before they are processed. Those souls Joanna thinks she is saving soon become part of her radical congregation, Divine Love, where sexual practices with multiple partners are not off limits if it means ensuring impregnation. Her irrational determination is tested when the ultimate miracle strikes unannounced.

Divine - Love - Mascaro - Filmmaker - Park

Thrilled about the widespread acclaimed Divine Love has quickly garnered, Mascaro met with Filmmaker in Park City to deconstruct the ideas about body politics, pop culture-friendly churches, and the rise of conservative ideologies in his homeland and abroad.

Filmmaker: It’s likely that people are interpreting Divine Love in relation to the recent election of Bolsonaro in Brazil, but you obviously had been working on it prior to this. Did you somehow foresee what was coming while writing this film?

Gabriel - Mascaro - Growth - Church

Gabriel Mascaro: I’m very impressed with the growth of the church’s political...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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