Director José Padilha (Bus 174
) follows up his Golden Bear-winning Elite Squad
(TFF '08) with this austere, unflinching examination of the realities of chronic hunger for three Brazilian families. Rosa, Robertina, and Lucia live in variously urbanized areas of Brazil, but all share the daily struggle with acute undernourishment, which forces them to feed their children garapa, a cheap mixture of sugar and water effective at staving off hunger pangs but devoid of nutritional value. This is a degree of poverty relegated to statistics, too often stripped of its human face and of the lived experience of such profound deprivation.
gives meaning to the staggering but abstract figures on worldwide malnutrition: According to the UN, 910 million people suffer from chronic hunger today, and the numbers are expected to rise due to rising food prices. The power of these numbers only resonates once one has seen life with Rosa, Robertina, and Lucia through Padilha's distinct lens. Theirs is the story of starvation as a way of life, conveyed through arresting, grainy cinematography and evocative long takes. At once intimate and universal, Padilha's hauntingly visual film humanizes the enormity of the global hunger crisis.