She Comes Back on Thursday
(Ela volta na quinta)
André Novais Oliveira, Maria José Novais Oliveira, Norberto Novais Oliveira, Renato Novais Oliveira,
An affecting depiction of a family in flux, She Comes Back on Thursday portrays the long-simmering dissatisfaction of a married couple and its effect on the lives of their two adult sons as their relationship threatens to unravel. Performed by the director himself along with his parents, brother, and friends, the fictional family portrait is suffused with the depth of feeling that the nonprofessional actors bring to their self-adjacent roles. Filming on location in Contagem, André Novais Oliveira draws emotion not from drama or confrontation but from the accumulated tenderness revealed in a series of ordinary conversations between the characters. These thoughtful exchanges are interspersed with observational scenes of the neighborhood, daily life, work, and leisure, punctuated with Brazilian popular songs, American soul, and classical music. “The film itself becomes a hymn to the enduring rhythms of working-class life, formed by people whose relief and sustenance come from one another, even as their time together remains limited” (Aaron Cutler, Frieze).