Pacified' Review | Tribeca 2020

The Hollywood Reporter
by David Roone

Flawed but full of soulful feeling.

Director Paxton Winters considers the psychological toll of drug culture and violence in this vivid community portrait of a Rio favela, whose producers include Darren Aronofsky and Lisa Muskat.

The opening shot of sweaty morning sun washing in over the sleepy face of Tati in bed signals an arresting visual style that makes sumptuous use of warm natural light, lush color and atmospheric night scenes without ever veering into poverty porn. With sinuous camera movement, cinematographer Laura Merians, whose background is in commercials and music videos, captures the dense tangle of favela dwellings, stacked higgledy-piggledy one on top of another all the way up the mountainside. They are separated by labyrinthine alleys and rooftop passageways and split down the middle by a seemingly endless flight of steps, shown from above in one spectacularly impactful image as the man who may or may not be Tati's father lugs a refrigerator up the hill on his back.


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