By Fabricio Estevam Mira
Films about motherhood tend to fascinate me. They inhabit an area of mystery that for me, as a man, will never be fully understood, only speculated upon. I can imagine every detail of what I would feel and do in a given situation as a father. The anxiety. The happiness. Plans. Worries. I can visualize jubilation. I can visualize my despair in the worst situations and, in extreme cases, exchanging my life for the life of my offspring. I know that not every father would reach this point, but in my exploration of the spectrum of fatherhood, I try to understand what my limit would be. And there is a limit. The limit of my experience as just a donor is far exceeded by the experience of the woman who is made the home, blood and flesh of the new life. It's an emotional bond so absurd and profound that it makes the woman a being who lives not only in herself, but also in these new consciousnesses of which she will never have complete control. It's beautiful, profound and frightening. It's a world all of its own, which means that when a filmmaker like Carolina Lobo opens a window so that I can observe it, through a film like yours, like Duda, I can do nothing but try to understand it. And Duda is an excellent, wide-open window onto one of the most distant angles for us men: post-natal depression. And fortunately, Carolina makes no effort to mask the brutality of that reality. Confusion embracing madness. The desperation of mechanical repetitions, which seem to be the north on meaningless roads, until new repetitions become as vital as air. The main actress, Beth Costa, gave a great performance and contributed enormously to the result of the film. The cinematography, especially during the interiors, was very efficient and managed to evoke the hallucinatory claustrophobia experienced by the protagonist. The sound design wasn't afraid to take risks, knowing how to be aggressive when necessary, showing us that the character's auditory perception, as much as her visual one, was also immersed in an alienating personal chaos, even when surrounded by apparent tranquillity, and this was another positive point in the composition of the whole. Duda is a very authorial film, about an extremely difficult time experienced by the director, who, in the end, sculpted her traumas into a quality film, and gave us an interesting insight into this little-explored topic.