top of page
  • Jennifer Green

Review: Dry Ground Burning

Brazilian cinema has never shied away from addressing its country’s social ills head-on, and Dry Ground Burning (Mato Seco en Chamas) adds to the archives. The film is a fascinating exercise in combining documentary and fiction. Not knowing what’s real and what’s reenacted or scripted can feel disorienting for a viewer, and the narrative also jumps around in time to a potentially confusing degree. That discomfort is surely intentional on the part of co-directors Joana Pimenta and Adirley Queirós.

At 153 minutes, the exercise asks a lot of its audience, and some may find the first stretch the hardest to get through, dropping you into story and characters without much context. If you stay with it, though, you’ll find this evocative portrait of a very dark time and place to be a haunting and worthwhile experience.

Read the full review at

Images courtesy of Grasshopper Film.


bottom of page