Clara (Sônia Braga) is a 65-year-old music critic who, in 1980, when she was a young mother of three, survived breast cancer. Now retired and long-widowed she lives in the 1940s-built Aquarius apartment block in the rapidly changing neighbourhood of Recife, Brazil. She lives alone but not lonely, visited by her adult children and attended to by a long-time serving maid, Ladjane (Zoraide Coleto).
Clara’s days of happiness are under threat from developers, intent on building a “new Aquarius” where the old one “used to exist” (“The building exists now,” Clara tells one developer. “You’re leaning on it!”). Refusing to accept a buy-out, pressures to move bear down on Clara from all sides as she becomes the last remaining inhabitant in the ghostly apartment block. Pledging to leave only upon death, she will engage in a cold war with the developers to fight for the home, her silent witness to her entire life.
Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius is an intimate character study, urgently political in its treatment of race, class, and commerce.
“A timely, inspiring parable of protest, driven by Braga's rock-solid lead performance” (FT)
(research Emma Filippedes) A Fantastic show of will and the strength it needs - every minute.