Isle of Flowers
|Isle of Flowers|
|Directed by||Jorge Furtado|
|Produced by||Nora Goulart and Monica Schmiedt|
|Written by||Jorge Furtado|
|Narrated by||Paulo José|
|Music by||Geraldo Flach|
|Edited by||Giba Assis Brasil|
|17 January 1989|
|12 min 31 sec|
Isle of Flowers (Portuguese: Ilha das Flores) is a 1989 Brazilian short film by Jorge Furtado. It tracks the path of a tomato from garden to dump with the help of a monotone voiceover and a collection of bizarre images. While a very humorous film, the message it delivers about how human beings treat each other is anything but such. The director himself has stated that the film was inspired by the works of Kurt Vonnegut and Alain Resnais, among others.
The film has been denounced as "materialistic" because one of its early credits displays the phrase "God doesn't exist". Nevertheless, critic Jean-Claude Bernardet defined Isle of Flowers "a religious film", and the Brazilian National Bishop Confederation awarded the film with the Margarida de Prata (Silver Daisy), calling it "the best Brazilian film of the year" in 1990. In 1995, Isle of Flowers was chosen by the European critics as one of the 100 most important short films of the century.
A constant and verbose off-narrator guides the viewer through the life of a tomato. Beginning at Mr Suzuki's tomato field, the tomato is then sold to a supermarket, where it is acquired by Mrs Anete, a perfume saleswoman, together with some pork. Each exchange requires the presence of money, which is, together with the tomato, the constant element in the story. Mrs Anete intends to prepare a tomato sauce for the pork, but, having considered one of Mr Suzuki's tomatoes inadequate, she throws it in the garbage. Together with the rest of the garbage, the tomato is taken to Isle of Flowers (Ilha das Flores), Porto Alegre's landfill. There, the organic material considered adequate is selected as food for pigs. The rest, which is considered inadequate for the pigs, is given to poor women and children to eat.
- Paulo José as narrator
- Ciça Reckziegel as Dona Anete
- Luciana Azevedo as Ana Luizia Nunes
- Irene Schmidt as the client
- Takahiro Suzuki as Sr. Suzuki
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The scene of the perfume factory was actually shot in a high school laboratory (Colégio Anchieta).
Since its release, Isle of Flowers became one of the most acclaimed non-fiction short films of all time. According to the votes of over a thousand users of the Internet Movie Database, it is the best Brazilian short film and documentary ever made.
Isle of Flowers was very well received by film festivals all over the world when first released. It won a Silver Bear for Best Short Feature at the 1990 Berlin Film Festival as well as nine awards at the 1989 Gramado Film Festival, including for Best Short Film.