Guest Blogger – Wagner Depintor
Our guest blogger series continues with a post by filmmaker Wagner Depintor, who discusses how his work is informed by societal prejudice.
The short movie ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE has a certain social dedication. It touches on the subject of prejudice, appearances, and on the Brazilians’ collective unconscious of social imbalance leading violence to pertain to a specific aesthetic; which is people believing that children on the street are criminals.
When I say prejudice I don’t mean the evident towards Blacks, Whites, Asians, Arabs, or Jews. I mean the day-to-day labeling we do when we look at someone on the street and tend to classify them as something or another. The movie plays on this tendency in a serious way. It takes the viewers to that place of quickly judging and making their own conclusions about everything they see. This story is very detailed in this aspect. Nothing in it is by accident, everything has a dubious intention but a clear meaning of things. In the end we reveal what the movie is really about. It’s all done through image, acting, and music. Taking a song like “All You Need is Love,” a “leitmotiv” by The Beatles, and transforming it into hip-hop was incredible. Still, no one notices who the main characters are in the story. Like I said, people tend to classify others and things with superficial ideals.
The main actor, Sérgio Lopez is an 11 year old boy now. I had already worked with him before. The first time was when he was 6 and it was on a music video for a band called Leões de Israel, a reggae group from São Paulo. Sérgio has a natural gift for acting. When I decided to cast him for the role, it was because he had a certain similarity to the character. In the beginning, I was doubtful about the physical aspects, I wanted an Afro-brazilian boy, though when I decided to invest in him it turned out to be the perfect choice for the movie. The short film was really benefited by his acting. Sérgio comes from a very simple and humble family, he has 14 brothers and sisters. His mother, Regina Lopez who also participates in the movie, had to give up some of her children for adoption for lack of means to raise them. She was once a drug dealer, and his father was in prison. Even though Sérgio knows about the street life really well, he still has this innocence and ingenuity about him, as well as an enormous heart. These traits for the character were essential, the kid was practically the character.
The social theme is also reflected on some of my other work. Whenever I get the chance of filming something of my own, be it a music video or whatever, I touch on controversial topics. I don’t even do it consciously, it’s just something I noticed not too long ago looking back at my work. I think that comes from experience, of life though, not academically. My family is very religious, a kind of Brazilian religion, that’s very tolerant and open. My dad is a Christian pastor, my mom is more Catholic than than pope, my uncle is a Spiritualist, my brother is a Charismatic christian, and I was raised I the middle of it all; in these talks about the bible that get heated and turn into full on discussions. My dad is Italian descent and my mom is half Black half Indian… between all these differences coming from a rich background and heritage we were able to build a firm common ground, that sums up a strong beliefs and values that we keep very clear in our heads.
You can view ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE here: