OIFF Update: “Where I Grow Old” (2016)

OIFF Update: “Where I Grow Old” (2016)


“Where I Grow Old” is the first feature from Brazilian documentary-maker Marilia Rocha. Marilia lived and worked in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, then relocated to Portugal. In her youth, Portuguese lead actress Francisca Manuel studied in Brazil. Their meeting and similarities gave headway to the creation of Rocha’s film which was presented on the second day of the 7th Odessa International Film Festival in the International competition program.

“Where I Grow Old” is made from the improvisational techniques and from the play of non-professional actors and their own experiences. Earlier the picture was presented at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and was in competition for the Tiger Award.

The film is about women on the cusp of their thirties, thinking about their futures. Teresa (Elizabete Francisca) who relocates to Belo Horizonte moves into the apartment of her childhood friend Francisca (Francisca Manuel), who did the same relocation some time before. In spite of the fact that they have little in common, they very harmoniously complement each other. Teresa quickly adapts to the Brazil’s lifestyle, while Francisca seems to be stuck. The film is full of dialogues. Francisca and Teresa discuss different aspects of their lives trying to find the keys to happiness and safety.

In her film, Rocha shows the atmosphere of Belo Horizonte: relaxed, cheerful and sociable. “You walk out the door and it is like you are in a movie,” explains Teresa to a friend back home. In this way, Marilia Rocha does for her city what Marcelo Gomes did for another Brazilian city: Recife with the help of his picture “Once Upon a Time Veronica” (2012). Both pictures open opportunities to choose one’s own way in living a free life in a modern society.