Director: Affonso Uchôa and João Dumans

2017, Brazil, 98 Minutes

Program Notes

Andre, a teenager, lives in an industrial town in Brazil near an old aluminum factory. One day, a factory worker, Cristiano, suffers an accident. Asked to go to Cristiano’s house to pick up clothes and documents, Andre stumbles on a notebook, and it’s here that Araby begins — or, rather, transforms. As Andre reads from the journal entries, we are plunged into Cristiano’s life, into stories of his wanderings, adventures, and loves.

Beautifully written and photographed, Araby is a fable-like road movie about a young man who sets off on a ten-year journey in search of a better life.


NYT Critic’s Pick:
“Thanks to Mr. de Sousa’s superb performance, the movie often convincingly portrays not just the exploited condition of laborers such as Cristiano, but the nagging sadness of life itself.” — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“Araby opens quietly but builds with tremendous emotional force.” — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“One of the best films of the year.” — Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound

“Instant classic. A quiet epic which is both ideal for the current turbulent epoch and timeless, grittily specific in its details but universal in its themes, João Dumans and Affonso Uchôa’s Brazilian wonder Araby (Arabia) sets a high bar for world cinema of 2017. An intriguingly structured, multilayered road movie in which an ordinary working-class dude looks back over a nation-wandering decade of his life, this second collaboration by the writer-directors is a cumulatively engrossing and ultimately very moving work of clear-eyed political intent.” — Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter


Official Selection:
International Film Festival Rotterdam
New Directors/New Films