September 27, 2023
Stela Murgel

‘When Air Is Lost’ accompanies the SUS front line at the worst moment of the pandemic

In March 2020, infectious disease specialist Helena Beta became a mother, so she can’t work on the front lines with her health colleagues as she would like. It was then that the idea of ​​Skype recordings of SUS professionals who were risking their lives in this pandemic arose.

They were stories of courage, resilience, and heroism at a time when the federal government maintained a rhetoric of deniability.

The vaccine wasn’t there yet in October of that year, when Helena started a face-to-face documentary-making project and traveled across Brazil with her sister, actress and filmmakers, Anna Petta, to shoot that movie. When there is no air which is one of 7 selected from 80 productions in the competitive show for It’s all right festival.

The film was included in the program of the Todos Pela Saúde, a committee of permanent action against the epidemic sponsored by Itaú that brought together, among others, Drauzio Varella and Gonzalo Vecina. “We were scared, like everyone else, but we felt it was time to do our part in building that memory, as well as the journalists who were on the front lines,” Ana Peta told Estadão.

The film was shot in places that, at that time, were real war zones: in São Paulo, at Hospital das Clínicas, in Recife, at UPS in Morro da Conceição, in Barra, at Castanhal Municipal Hospital, and with the health team Igarapé Miri, In El Salvador at the Lemos de Brito Correctional Complex and in Manaus, with the NGO SOS Funeral.

Anna and Helena, who previously worked together on Universal’s Unidade Básica series, this time featured as a directorial duo. It is worth noting that the winner of the festival is automatically approved to compete for the Academy Award for Brazil.

“When rites of death were no longer possible and loneliness was constant, it seemed necessary to us to open the camera to the different times and dimensions involved in healthcare, bringing us closer to those professionals who were fighting one of the biggest health crises in history, in a country abandoned by its ruler. the main.

Hospital, by Frederic Wiseman, and the films of Maria Augusta Ramos, were the references for Anna and Helena, who also cite more “sensual” works such as those of Naomi Kawasi and meditative works such as those of Thai director Apichatpong Werasethakul.

The film bears the seal of the production company Paranoid, from partners Heitor Dhalia and Egisto Betti. Since all protocols were strictly followed, no one was injured during filming.

1 pm: Virtual session: All True Play (max 200 views)

3 pm: Discussion with the film team on É Tudo Verdade on Youtube