by Kleber MendoncaFilho
Country: Brazil
Year: 2023
Duration: 93'

Pictures of Ghosts is a multidimensional journey through time, sound, architecture and filmmaking, set in the urban landscape of Recife, Brazilian coastal capital of Pernambuco: a historical and human territory, examined through the great movie theatres that served as spaces of conviviality during the 20th century. Having hosted dreams and progress, these places have also embodied a major transformation on social practices. Combining archive documentary, mystery, film clips and personal memories, Pictures of Ghosts is a map of a city through the lens of cinema.


film director

Kleber Mendonça Filho

(Recife, Brasile, 1968) graduated in journalism from the Federal University of Pernambuco. He has an extensive career as a critic and programmer. He was responsible for the cinema section of the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation and wrote for “Jornal do Commercio” in Recife, as well as other outlets such as “Revista Continente” and “Folha de São Paulo.” He is the artistic director of the Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife and the chief curator of Cinema at the Moreira Salles Institute. As a filmmaker, he transitioned from video in the 90s, experimenting with fiction, documentary, and music videos, to digital and 35mm in the 2000s. His short films (A Menina do Algodão, Vinil Verde, Eletrodoméstica e Recife Frio) have received over 100 awards in Brazil and abroad. His first feature-length film is the documentary Crítico (2008). In 2014, he made The World Cup in Recife, a 15-minute documentary made for Canal SporTV and Casa de Cinema de Porto Alegre. Neighboring Sounds (2012) was his first fiction feature, shown in over 100 international festivals, commercially released in 14 countries, and winner of 32 awards. The film was Brazil’s representative for the 2014 Oscars and considered "One of the 10 Best Films of the Year" by The New York Times. Aquarius (2016), his second feature debuted in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and distributed in over 100 countries. In 2018, he co-directed and co-wrote, alongside Juliano Dornelles, Bacurau, which premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2019 and won the Jury Prize. Pictures of Ghosts premiered in May 2023 in Cannes, out of competition.


Casa de Imagem (cm, 1992), Homem de Projeção (cm, 1992), Paz a esta casa (cm, 1994), Lixo nos Canais (cm, 1995), Enjaulado (cm, 1997), A Menina do Algodão (cm, 2002), Vinil Verde (cm, 2004), Eletrodoméstica (cm, 2005), Friday Night Saturday Morning (cm, 2007), Jogo Sem Gandula (cm, 2007), Crítico (doc, 2008), Recife Frio (cm, 2009), Luz Industrial Mágica (cm, 2010), O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds, 2012), A Copa do Mundo no Recife (The World Cup in Recife, doc, 2015), Aquarius (2016), Bacurau (coregia/codirector Juliano Dornelles 2019), Os Filmes Já Começam na Calçada (serie, 2019), Retratos Fantasmas (Pictures of Ghosts, doc, 2023).


film director

“Picture of Ghosts has the city center of Recife as its main character, being a historical and human space revisited through the great cinemas that served as gathering spaces during the 20th century. They were places of dreams and industry, and people’s relationship with this universe is a marker of time for changes in society’s customs. Approximately 60% of the documentary is composed of archival material, with photographs and moving images found in personal collections, in Pernambuco’s film and television production, and in institutions such as the Brazilian Cinematheque, the Audiovisual Technical Center (CTAV), and the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation. Cinemas in city centers are common to many other places in the world, but it so happens that I am from Pernambuco, from Recife, and I set out to show this city’s geography from a personal point of view. Recife is also a city that still enjoys a spectacular cinema like São Luiz, a palace from 1952. Today, there are few cities in the world that still know what that represents," comments the director, regarding street cinemas.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR, SCREENPLAY: Kleber Mendonça Filho. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Pedro Sotero. EDITING: Matheus Farias. RESEARCH: Karina Nobre, Cleodon Pedro Coelho. SOUND: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Ricardo Cutz. PRODUCER: Emilie Lesclaux. COPRODUCER: Silvia Cruz, Felipe Lopes. PRODUCTION: Cinemascópio. COPRODUCTION: Vitrine Filmes.

CONTACT: Urban Distribution Irene Cadavid) irene@urbangroup.biz