Breakneck motorcycle rides bookend Karim Ainouz’s stunning fifth feature, Praia do Futuro. Part gay romance, part journey into self, this spare but sensually saturated story seems on the verge of losing control, but its visual and sonic verve more than compensate.
The first of three chapters, set in Brazil, wastes little time lighting the spark between Donato (Wagner Moura), a lifeguard, and Konrad (Clemens Schick), an ex-military thrill-seeker from Germany. When their relationship deepens Konrad invites Donato to return with him to Germany. As they settle in the colder but more liberating climes of Berlin, Donato becomes fully acquainted with his sexuality – though the pull of his family, and the lure of the beach, tempt him to return home. 'Everything will be fine when the future arrives,' says a kindly bartender. The third chapter suggests it may not be as simple as that.
There’s a touch of Jacques Audiard to the film’s opening, and Antonioni to its later stretches. Like the best appropriators, however, Ainouz works such scraps into a patchwork consistently his own.
Please note that the festival is for over 18s only