Scene from the film Look Closely at the Mountains
Scene from the film Look Closely at the Mountains
Scene from the film Look Closely at the Mountains
Scene from the film Look Closely at the Mountains
Scene from the film Look Closely at the Mountains
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Look Closely at the Mountains

  • France
  • Brazil
Audio Tracks 

“Look closely at the mountains!”: the phrase was coined by the artist Manfredo de Souzanetto during Brazil’s years of dictatorship. Mining activities were destroying the environment in the State of Minas Gerais in the South-West of the country. Through editing, Ana Vaz draws parallels between this region and the very distant Nord-Pas-de-Calais in northern France, also marked by over three centuries of mining. On one side, eroded mountains plague its inhabitants with deadly landslides. Hollow and gutted, these mountains become the receptacles of a ghostly memory. On the other side, in France, mining waste stacks become mountains and reservoirs of biodiversity, where the frontier between nature and technology is now indiscernible. The filmmaker surprises us with each shot. Poetry takes precedence over any activist or environmental discourse – as in the sequence showing scientists measuring bats in the moonlight. Here, “look closely” steers the film towards details, towards visual and sound materials. Yet, these are never disconnected from the political: a shot of the sky taken from the bottom of a ravine is enough to conjure up the ghosts of eradicated indigenous peoples, whose cave paintings nonetheless continue to exist. (Charlotte Garson, Cinéma du Réel)


  • Original title
    Olhe Bem As Montanhas
  • Direction
  • Cast
    João Banana, Elson Barbosa, William Cheyrezy, Jacinto «das garrafas», Julien Masquelier, Joaquim Leão, Ivan Loyolla, Aleixo da Silva, Maria Geralda Oliveira da Silva, Vicente Xacriabá, Hilário Xacriabá
  • DOP
    Ana Vaz
  • Editing
    Ana Vaz, Deborah Viegas
  • Sound
    Philippe Fabbri, Flora Guerra, Nuno da Luz, Ana Vaz
  • Duration
    30 min (16-30 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • France
    • Brazil
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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