The Middle of the World

Director: Vicente Amorim

In this surprising Brazilian road movie, best described as a curious entry into the neorealist genre, director Amorim tells the true story of an illiterate dreamer who puts his faith in his patron saint as he journeys along with his family of seven across the desert in a six-month bicycle odyssey in the hopes of a better life in Rio de Janeiro. The risks of such an outrageously bold opus are depicted with truth and innocence as we follow the family, feeling both anger and pride in the patriarch when he refuses to settle for anything less than what he feels is the ideal salary (reminiscent thematically to the newly released Will Smith vehicle, The Pursuit of Happyness). It’s a bit frustrating at times, mostly due to its painful neorealism and while the end feels a bit hurried, it’s one journey of hope that you won’t soon forget.