This assured coming-of-age tale uses the emotional journey of a middle-class Rio teenager to probe the social schisms underpinning contemporary Brazilian society.

Seventeen-year-old Jean (Thales Cavalcanti) lives with his affluent parents, attends an elite school and takes his privileged life for granted. However, the family faces bankruptcy and Jean’s plans to study at university are threatened by new legislation that will bring a certain quota of students from state schools into the higher education system. Suddenly, Jean’s world becomes less secure as he embarks on an emotional journey that takes him far outside his comfort zone.

Fellipe Barbosa’s assured semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale, set in a class-riddled Rio de Janeiro, skilfully melds telling social commentary with a character-driven narrative, grounded in an intelligent central performance by non-professional actor Thales Cavalcanti. Casa Grande captures both the insecurity and cockiness of adolescence and the dynamics of change shaping Brazil’s ‘big house’ in the 21st century.

Maria Delgado
BFI London Film Festival


Please note that the festival is for over 18s only