SFF22: ‘Mars One’ Review

Mars One is a magnetic coming-of-age story that shines brightly throughout its various themes of Brazilian society.

Courtesy of Magnolia International

Latin America truly had a wonderful showing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with gems like The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future, Dos Estaciones, Utama, and this magnificent Brazilian coming-of-age drama. Mars One was the second film I was able to watch at the festival and it was part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. As someone who loves international cinema but especially has a growing love for Latin American films, I was very interested in checking this one out. I am happy to report back that Mars One did not disappoint at all.

Mars One is written and directed by Gabriel Martins. The film stars Cícero Lucas, Carlos Francisco, Camilla Damião, and Rejane Faria. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Dramatic competition. The film is Gabriel Martins’ third feature film that they have directed. Mars One finds itself blending the coming-of-age tropes while maintaining a steady commentary on Brazilian politics and the class divide.

In the film, we follow a lower-middle-class family in the wake of Brazil electing a far-right extremist president. We follow the lives of all four members of the family, our matriarch Tércia (Rejane Faria), the patriarch Wellington (Carlos Francisco), and their daughter Eunice (Camilla Damião), and their youngest child Deivinho (Cícero Lucas). Within their lives, each person is maneuvering life-altering decisions from finding love, fighting against poverty, figuring out what to do with their life, and worrying about the state of the family and their country.

Mars One is an enriching experience that is expertly crafted by a team of passionate artists that are worried about the state of Brazil’s political turmoil. There is tenderness met with anxiety as we traverse the lives of our protagonists. The film is exquisitely shot by our director of photography, Leonardo Feliciano. The movie does have a rocky start and is very off pace but it makes up with impeccable performances and chemistry from our cast. The intrigue of what comes next allows the audience to stay present with the family as much as they can. Ultimately, we are left with a fantastic film that provides heart and possible cultural solutions in order to progress their country.

Magnolia International picked up all media rights for worldwide release, so keep an eye out for this film when it makes its way to the public!

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