Isle of Flowers

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Isle of Flowers
Directed by Jorge Furtado
Produced by Nora Goulart and Monica Schmiedt
Written by Jorge Furtado
Starring Júlia Barth
Narrated by Paulo José
Music by Geraldo Flach
Edited by pt:Giba Assis Brasil
Release date
17 January 1989
Running time
12 min 31 sec
Country Brazil
Language Portuguese

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


The scene of the perfume factory was actually shot in a high school laboratory (Colégio Anchieta).



Since its release, Isle of Flowers has become one of the most acclaimed pseudo-documentary short films of all time. For a number of years, users of the Internet Movie Database voted it the best Brazilian short film[1] and documentary film[2] 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.


  1. ^ Top 50 Short movies by average vote (IMDb), sample ratings: (1) "Ranked #4, 8.6/10, 213 votes". Archived from the original on 25 September 2004.  (2) "Ranked #5, 8.5/10, 285 votes". Archived from the original on 30 January 2005.  (3) "Ranked #15, 8.4/10, 1420 votes". Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Top 50 Documentary movies by average vote (IMDb), sample ratings: (1) "Ranked #1, 8.6/10, 350 votes". Archived from the original on 18 June 2005.  (2) "Ranked #10, 8.4/10, 920 votes". Archived from the original on 6 September 2007.  (3) "Ranked #13, 8.4/10, 1371 votes". Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. 

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