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Mencius Melo – From Cenarium Magazine
MANAUS – The documentary ‘Camylla Bruno’ arrives in the first half of January 2021. The work narrates in 30 minutes, the journey of a transformist, Bruno Maciel, to reach first place in the Miss Amazonas Gay 2020 contest. The short film bears the signature of Amazonian director, producer and screenwriter Henrique Saunier Michiles.
Approved in the announcement ‘Cultural Connections 2020 – Aldir Blanc Law’, from the Manauscult Foundation, the documentary reveals the universe of glamor, fantasies, resilience and struggle of queer culture actors and actresses. Queer in English means ‘strange’ and was applied to disqualify people from the LGBT community. In a chat with director Henrique Saunier, REVISTA CENARIUM sought to understand what the author of ‘Camylla Bruno’ thinks and what he wants.
According to Saunier, the quest to show such a universe in a conservative country is part of his life. “Everything related to queer culture, or LGBTQIA+ has always interested me and has always been something very present in my life. I believe that regardless of any government that is in force in the country, these themes will always be in some way in the issues addressed in my work.
With the advent of social networks and the rise of ‘democratic fundamentalism’ in neo-Pentecostal churches, violence against queer culture has taken on dramatic contours, but that doesn’t scare Henrique Saunier. “I believe that anyone who identifies with the movement has always been on the alert for this patrol, which is often not only ideological, but also violent and very clear in its position to exclude or eliminate everything that is considered ‘different’”, observed.
“This patrol has always been very present in my life, dictating what I should and should not be within what it is to be considered ‘being a man’ in society. Even more growing up as a gay child in the interior of Amazonas, I feel that this patrol is a challenge that many filmmakers who identify with these same themes have always had to face ”, he pondered.
Influenced by incensed names like Pasolini, Djalma Limongi and the award winners Tatiana Issa and Raphael Alvarez, Henrique recognizes. “They taught me that in cinema and art in general, no subject should be considered taboo. Furthermore, my dream is to be able to reach the level of poetic charge of the narratives of these masters in my films, something that with time, craft and maturity, maybe one day I will get there ”, he reflected.
Still in the field of resistance, Saunier points out the compass of his art in Camylla Bruno. For him to stay in the ‘comfort zone’ is not his goal. “I want my film to reach those people. I would have a very limited vision if I wanted the short to reach only “mine”, those people who are already familiar and sympathize with the theme.
“I believe that the debate can always be enriched when a film with this theme reaches people who agree, disagree, who would make the film differently, or even who think the film is bad. As a beginner director, reaching a diverse audience as possible would be a great learning experience for the jobs I still want to do ”, he acknowledged.
From the experience, Henrique Saunier confessed: “It brought me a reflection on how the gay world has so many universes within one, even though society often has a unilateral view of what it is to be gay in Brazil.But in addition to bringing this curious look to this universe, at the same time I wanted to bring a more human look to Bruno’s story ”, he evaluated.
The work ‘Camylla Bruno’ by Henrique Saunier
‘Camylla Bruno’ mixes documentary and video art, reality and artistic performance, metaphors and a poetic look to present Bruno Maciel’s preparation routine for the contest.The documentary pairs in essence with great works like ‘Paris Is Burning’ by Jennie Linvigston and the most awarded brazilian documentary: ‘Dzi Croquettes’, about the life and work of the Brazilian troupe that challenged the dictatorship in the 1970s.
Among make-up, hairstyles and unique costumes, the viewer will check Bruno’s daily life in the restaurant managed by him, memories of the second places in the same event and the obstacles faced to come out as a gay transformer artist for the family. Camylla Bruno is shown in the film as a winner of much greater artistic and, above all, human achievements.
The director and screenwriter
Henrique Saunier Michiles, 31, is an audiovisual producer graduated in 2017 from the State University of Amazonas (UEA). Currently, he works as a content producer in the third sector, at the NGO Idesam, producing photos and videos of a social and environmental nature. Along with several LGBTQIA + artists, he directed and photographed video clips, documentaries, live concerts, video dance and several other audiovisual formats. Henrique Saunier defines himself as a gay Amazonian director.