Brasília: Life after Design

Bart Simpson

Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, 2017 / 88 min / Portuguese VO with English subt. / Documentary

Collaboration Archiduc

A meditation on living in one of the most planned cities on earth - Residents of the visionary, brutalist city of Brasilia seek to connect in today's Brazil.

Located 2000 kilometres from the Amazon and 18 hours from Rio, the city of Brasília - the capital of Brazil - is a mythical place: a concrete utopia spawned out of the desert. In 1956 at the rebirth of Brazilian democracy, visionary architect Oscar Niemeyer and urbanist Lúcio Costa invented an urban plan and structures that would attempt to micromanage the daily activity of human life. The unabashed goal was to create the space that would birth “the new Brazilian citizen”. Now the stark beauty of the city acts as a backdrop to isolation, changing values, and the dynamic power and politics of today’s Brazil. The remnants of Niemeyer and Costa’s dream echo through the lives of planners, students, street vendors and artists, each trying to make their mark and make meaningful connections in a city built on division. Featuring a haunting, intimate score and images that take us deep into the city, Brasilia: Life After Design shows a contemporary city at a crossroads, bringing a human face to a utopian ideal. What is it like to live in someone else’s idea?

Tue 27/02 19:00 Ciné Utopia PT OV with EN subt. Public

ʺPart ode, part critique, Bart Simpson’s film […] takes the viewer on a surreal and melancholic tour of a strange and monumental cityscape. The camera pans across urban vistas and peers through archways, connecting with city dwellers perched like birds around the vast spaces. […] Brasilia was to be nothing less than the foundation for a new civilization, without the colonial baggage of the previous capital, Rio de Janeiro. Architect Oscar Niemeyer and urban planner Lúcio Costa crafted their vision on modernist principles; they organized Brasilia to function as a ‘rational city’. Decades later, it’s fascinating to see the city’s population navigating the constraints the designers imposed in their obsessive quest for order”. Doxa Festival, Vancouver

Cast & Credits
Nancy Marcotte, Bart Simpson
Alex Margineau
William Cory, Pete Smith
Step Carruthers, Alexandre Klinke
Lowik Media, Aconite Productions
Aconite Productions

Bart Simpson is an award-winning filmmaker, interested in films that entertain, evoke and engage public debate. He produced and acted as second unit director on the feature documentary The Corporation (2003), winner at over 25 festivals including Sundance, Toronto and IDFA Amsterdam, his other collaborations including Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures (2007) and Bananas!* (2009) followed by Big Boys Gone Bananas!* (2009), selected by Sundance, IDFA and screened all over the world.

  • 2017 - Brasília : Life After Design (documentary)
  • 2012 - Big Boys Gone Bananas! (documentary)
  • 2009 - Bananas!* (documentary)
  • 2007 - Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures (documentary)
  • 2004 - The Corporation (documentary)