MEDUSA (2021)

21-year-old Mariana and her friends are devoted Christian choir girls by day – and an aggressive vigilante gang by night. They have grown up in an Evangelical congregation in Brazil, which has a special focus on women’s role in society: You’re required to be clean and unkissed, take extremely good care of your appearance, be warm and welcoming, pray a lot, and patiently wait for a good and godly man to ask you to be his wife. Then you have fulfilled your purpose and thus a good and holy life is secured.

For Mariana and the other girls, the immense focus on being perfect gradually becomes so immersive that they decide to take matters into their own hands and start punishing girls who do not follow the same expectations, inspired by a scary legend rooted in the congregation. Hiding behind uncanny white masks, the gang hunt for sinful girls to exact their self-righteous punishment upon. But what lies behind their own, virtuous facades?

Medusa is a surprising and imaginative thriller that follows the main character Mariana as she transforms from a dedicated, holier-than-thou congregation member and into someone quite different. Medusa is dreamy, provocative, and a breath of fresh air. Imagine a religious coming-of-age movie with elements of horror.

The film has been screened at numerous festivals around the world, and at Tromsø International Film Festival in January 2022 it won the festival’s main award as well as the “Faith In Film” award. Read the jury statements here.

Kathinka Wang

Original title:Medusa
Year of production:2021
Country of origin:Brazil
Langauges:Portugese speech, English subtitles
Running time:2h 7m
Director:Anita Rocha da Silveira
Screenplay:Anita Rocha da Silveira, Érica Sarmet
Starring:Mari Oliveira, Bruna Linzmeyer, Thiago Fragoso
Cinematography:João Atala
Producer:Marya Auad, Vania Catani, Tarcila Jacob
Distribution:Best Friend Forever
Age limit:15 years

Helene Aalborg

Film & feminisme siden 2010