Martha Batalha and Karim Aïnouz make history in Cannes
Martha Batalha’s “A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão” (The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao) was adapted for the big screen by filmmaker Karim Aïnouz and became the first Brazilian movie to win the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival – the second most important showcase of the event. The book was published in Brazil by Companhia das Letras, a publishing house that is a member of Brazilian Publishers – an industry project fostering exports of Brazilian editorial content through a partnership between the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) – and also had its rights sold to over 11 countries.
The writer from Pernambuco wrote the book when she quit her job at a publishing company in Manhattan and said in an interview to O Globo newspaper that she told that she had ever dreamed about having one of her books adapted for the big screen. “When I decided to write fiction I was fully aware that I could fail. I just thought I could use that free time to do something I wanted. In the worst case scenario I would write a story that would never be published, but at least I would not regret having never tried”.
The book tells the story of two sisters born in the 1950’s in the city of Rio de Janeiro: Guida, who leaves her parents’ house and disappears without a trace, and her sister Eurídice, who becomes an exemplary housewife. Martha grew up in the district of Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro, so she knows very well how to portray social and affective relations of that time, as well as the difficulties of being a “brilliant woman” living under strict social rules, dogmas and prejudice that prevent this type of woman from making achievements.
Martha says that the movie is not a literal adaptation, but it captures the essence of characters instead, thus addressing a theme of global interest – complicity and sympathy –, but in a story that could take place in nowhere else than Brazil. “Both book and film talk about the tiny details of the patriarchal culture that permeates relationships and which society accepts as the norm. […] The book has several funny parts and a narrator that uses irony to show how sexism can be ridiculous”, the writer adds also in that interview.
About Brazilian Publishers
Created in 2008, the Brazilian Publishers is an industry project that promotes exports of Brazilian editorial content through a partnership between Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). The purpose of the initiative is promoting the Brazilian publishing sector in the global market in an oriented and articulated manner, contributing to the professionalization of publishing houses.