Astral City: A Spiritual Journey
|Astral City: A Spiritual Journey|
|Directed by||Wagner de Assis|
|Produced by||Iafa Britz|
|Written by||Wagner de Assis|
|Starring||Renato Prieto |
Fernando Alves Pinto
|Music by||Philip Glass|
|Edited by||Marcelo Moraes|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Astral City: A Spiritual Journey (Portuguese: Nosso Lar) is a 2010 Brazilian drama film directed by Wagner de Assis, starring Renato Prieto. It is based on the book of the same name by the medium Francisco Cândido Xavier, and features a soundtrack composed by Philip Glass.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film also features well-known actors and actresses from Brazilian telenovelas such as Othon Bastos, Ana Rosa and Paulo Goulart, among others. It was shot on location in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, during the months of July, August and September 2009, with its post-production taking 9 months to be completed. It was released on September 3, 2010 in Brazil to great critical acclaim and more than one million viewers in its opening weekend. In 2015, the Brazilian Spiritualist Federation (FEB) first announced the sequel to Astral City: A Spiritual Journey, entitled Nosso Lar 2: Os Mensageiros, scheduled to be released in 2020.
When Andre Luiz, a selfish prominent physician and father of three, dies, instead of rising to what he believed would be heaven, he awakens in a valley of devastation. Living as a castaway, he, as well as the other spirits around him, is deemed to have been a suicide, and it is beyond him why he has had such a fate.
One day, a beam of light comes down from the sky bringing rescue to spirits in deep troughs of the Valley. Andre is rescued and lifted to a spiritual city named Nosso Lar (Our Home). There, he makes new friends and alliances but also meets his enemy - himself. He has betrayed his own existence by his self-destructive actions during his life on Earth, and, in order to prove he still truly values life, he must gain merits in the eyes of the city's Ministries through humbling hard work.
Finally, his greatest wish since arriving in the city comes true: he is granted permission to descend to Earth and see his wife and kids. Ten years have passed, his wife has remarried and his children have grown up. In this awakening moment, Andre has to put into play what he has learned back in Nosso Lar. He must accept his own death and step into another level of existence, learning to love and be loved, and that life never ceases.
The film is an adaptation of the 1944 book of the same name, said to be dictated by the spirit Andre Luiz and psychographed by Chico Xavier, Brazil's best-known and respected medium, having channeled more than 400 books. The book is considered a great classic of spiritist literature. Engaging the reader from a first-person narrative, Andre Luiz delivers his impressions of the spirit world he encounters after his death.
Detailed drawings of the city "Our Home" as well as the architecture of the buildings, ministries and homes, were created by the medium Heigorina Cunha through her observations made during her alleged travels outside of the body in March 1979, led and guided by the spirit Lucius. These drawings served as inspiration to create the visual architecture of the city, that are seen in the movie. His drawings have been clarified and confirmed by Chico Xavier that this was really the spiritual city of Rio de Janeiro called "Our Home".
Nosso Lar is rich in special effects. The majority of the movie takes place in this spiritual city, which is famous in the Spiritist movement. Many spiritists and spiritualists waited anxiously for the release of the film that recorded the second highest debut of a Brazilian film since the rebirth of Brazilian cinema in the 1990s, after Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, released one month later.
For photography and special effects, international professionals were invited, including director of photography Ueli Steiger (from 10,000 BC and The Day After Tomorrow) and special effects supervisor Lev Kolobov, the Canadian firm Intelligent Creatures (The Hunting Party, Babel, and Watchmen).