An Utopia of Modernity
The city of Brasilia is unique. Schaub constructs an architectural portrait of the capital of Brazil for which Oscar Niemeyer was primarily responsible for. The film also portrays one of the50,000 workers on the site, the then 15-year-old Raimundo Bento de Araujo, who tells us his memories.
Brasilia is unique in architectural history: a city for half a million people designed on the drawing board. Oscar Niemeyer, who passed away in 2012, was its architect. He was already one of Brazil’s most important architects in the 1930s, and today—thanks to Brasilia—he is one of the most important architects in the world. In the film, Niemeyer provocatively declares, “Architecture is random, like a dream.” At the time of filming he was one hundred years old, reminiscing in his Rio de Janeiro studio about his “Brasilia adventure.” Building Brasilia was a thrilling experience for everyone involved: 50,000 construction workers made the utopia of the new capital a reality in a mere three years. Construction went on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. One of those 50,000 workers was the then fifteen-year-old Raimundo Bento de Araujo. For him, the city is a museum of memory, which he talks about in the film.
Karin Riepel, AVE
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