[…] The whole film is put together with wonderful editing that allows us to discover the incredible story of a windsurfer; actually, a “life-surfer”.
[…] Hope and despair alternate in a story that becomes almost a psychological thriller.
[…] «Curumim» is a sad and complex story, but also a “global” story that brings together the carelessness of youth, the international criminal scene, the sport and the hunger of life, and the absurdity of the death penalty.
“Curumim” is the nickname of a Brazilian drug-dealer, Marco Archer, who was sentenced to death in Indonesia. The filmmaker Marcos Prado gathered archive footage, including the epistolary correspondence with him, phone calls, and images the prisoner filmed of himself, often with the help of his Italian inmate Ivan. The whole film is put together with wonderful editing that allows us to discover the incredible story of a windsurfer; actually, a “life-surfer”. This is the story of an almost abandoned son of the wealthy society in Brazil, the story of a booming windsurfing scene in the Seventies and Eighties where a sportsman, who had once dared to land his paraglider on the hill with the famous statue of Christ in Rio, finally started to fly in the jet set of the coke (and not only coke) trade. California, Holland, Switzerland and Bali were just a few of his more habitual stops in a nomadic party lifestyle that came to a definitive halt in a high security prison in Indonesia.
Marco Archer has spent more than ten years in this prison and Curumim is a precious documentation of the daily life in Indonesian prisons; tennis courts and the abundant consumption of drugs (sold by the police officers themselves…) are just two illusory signs of the bittersweet conditions that reflect the ups and downs of a constant flux of bribes to guards, judges, and prosecutors. While high-ranking al-Qaeda acolytes are systematically liberated, Curumim spends more than ten years waiting for his execution. Hope and despair alternate in a story that becomes almost a psychological thriller. Marco’s extreme vitality is a surviving strategy, but perhaps it is also a symptom of declining mental health. Yet his dialogues in front of the camera or on the phone remain lucid, positive, pragmatic. He worries himself with warning all free people against the mistakes one can make by entering the world of drugs. He wants to expiate, but also to denounce the absurd condition of a person waiting for years without knowing whether and when he will be executed.
Curumim is a sad and complex story, but also a “global” story that brings together the carelessness of youth, the international criminal scene, the sport and the hunger of life, and the absurdity of the death penalty. Curumim’s inability to have a low profile will make the incumbent shadow of death grow bigger and bigger. Human empathy and the cruelty of murder strengthen a filmic experience that won’t leave anyone indifferent.
Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore
First published: January 31, 2017
Curumim | Film | Marcos Prado | BR 2016 | 105’ | Black Movie 2017 Genève