Festival Review: Blue Blood / Sangue Azul (2015)

Sangue Azul

A mesmerising portrait of the loneliness of the beautiful, Lírio Ferreira’s Blue Blood is an enigmatic blend of circus, ballet and cinema.

The Road

by Mark Wilshin

Blue Blood

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Set 500 miles off the Brazilian coast, Lírio Ferreira’s Blue Blood is a strangely lyrical tale of isolation. Zolah (Daniel de Oliveira) – the Human Bullet – is returning to the island where he was born and raised with the circus – an island of outsiders on a remote rock in the Atlantic. He’s a beautiful man, able to have any woman he wants, and yet he’s the loneliest of them all – banished from the island by his mother and sent away with ringmaster Caleb due to a forbidden love. And it’s a passion that’s rekindled when he sees his sister Raquel again – an urge both try (but ultimately fail) to resist. It’s not the only illicit passion on the island – with threesomes, sex on the rocks and gay love simmering beneath the surface. But while there are flaws to Sangue Azul – a muddled story and little performance to speak of – there are many beautiful details to Ferreira’s very Brazilian aesthetic. Circus, so Caleb tells us, is the genesis of cinema, and we’re treated to some handsome circus acts of juggling, knife-throwing and clown routines. There are cinematic references throughout and its monochromatic opening exploding into colour as Zola is fired from a cannon is a direct tribute to The Wizard Of Oz. Onscreen ripples punctuate the film like precursors of a volcanic eruption waiting to happen. A sexy and ultimately charming blend of forbidden desire, underwater ballet and circus life, Blue Blood is a uniquely haunting and enigmatic film, and enough to make the blood quicken.

Blue Blood is now showing at the 65th Berlin Film Festival

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