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dir. Bart Simpson | Canada, Brazil, UK, 2017 | 88 min.


Located 2000 kilometres from the Amazon and 18 hours from Rio, the city of Brasília - the capital of Brazil – is a mythical place: a concrete utopia spawned out of the desert. In 1956 at the rebirth of Brazilian democracy, visionary architect Oscar Niemeyer and urbanist Lúcio Costa invented an urban plan and structures that would attempt to micromanage the daily activity of human life. The unabashed goal was to create the space that would birth “the new Brazilian citizen”. Now the stark beauty of the city acts as a backdrop to isolation, changing values, and the dynamic power and politics of today’s Brazil. The remnants of Niemeyer and Costa’s dream echo through the lives of planners, students, street vendors and artists, each trying to make their mark and make meaningful connections in a city built on division. Featuring a haunting, intimate score and images that take us deep into the city, Brasilia: Life After Design shows a contemporary city at a crossroads, bringing a human face to a utopian ideal. What is it like to live in someone else’s idea?

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