"a mesmerizing, artful and emotional piece of filmmaking that consistently surprises and awes in its sensitivity." The Playlist
SXSW Film Festival
Hot Docs International Film Festival
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Dreamlike, lyrical and haunting, Petra Costa’s deeply personal film documents the life of her sister, Elena, who committed suicide while following her dream of becoming a movie actress. Elena travelled to New York from Brazil, leaving behind a childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She also left Petra, her seven year old sister. Two decades later, following in her sister's footsteps, Petra also becomes an actress and goes to New York. Utilising home movies, audio recordings and photographs, Costa creates a cinematic collage which finds her seeking to understand who her sister was, and what may have led to her suicide.
Brazil, USA - 2012 - 1h 22m
Directed By: Petra Costa
Written By: Petra Costa, Carolina Ziskind
Director Biography - Petra Costa
Petra Costa is a Brazilian filmmaker and actress. She first directed the short film Undertow Eyes (2009) which screened at the MoMA and was winner of best short film at Rio Film Festival, Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, London International Documentary Festival among others. She then directed the feature ELENA (2012) which premiered at IDFA, followed by SXSW and HotDocs. ELENA won many prizes such as best film at Havana Film Festival (2013), was nominated for Best Cinematography at the 2014 Cinema Eye Honors and was the most watched documentary in Brazil in 2013. In 2013 Petra was one of the 20 recipients of a grant given by CPH:DOX in Denmark. From this grant Petra and her Danish co-director Lea Glob developed Olmo and The Seagull(2015), a hybrid film produced by Zentropa, Som & Furia and Busca Vida Filmes. Olmo and The Seagull premiered at Locarno, and was awarded at CPH:DOX, IDFA and Festival do Rio. Petra completed her undergraduate studies Summa Cum Laude in Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. She did her Masters in Health, Community and Development at the London School of Economics, London. She has lived in Brazil most of her life.