"Quanto vale ou é por quilo?"

I am a film junkie. After watching all the films in the bootleg rental hut near my house in Valença, Bahia, I reluctantly decided to consider films I would seldom watch if I had another choice. This led me to see Brazilian cinema under a very different light. One of the jewels awaiting me on the shelf was, “Quanto vale ou é por quilo?” by Sergio Bianchi.

DVD cover, "Quanto vale ou é por quilo?"This courageous film provides an ironic and very funny perspective of NGOs in Brazil.  I recommend it to all those who speak and understand the nuances of Portuguese, because the language can be tricky to foreigners.

In the film, there is a sadly hysterical scene in which a very poor family is awarded a night at a five-star hotel with cordon-bleu cuisine and all. As they push their food around on their plates, looking miserable, the mastermind behind the “social project” comments on the benefits of this opportunity they have been granted.

The film is brilliantly directed, with a creative and ingenious script and the best character actors Brazil has to offer.

Directed by Sergio Bianchi, script by Sergio Bianchi, Nilton Canito, Sabrina Anzuapegui and Eduardo Benain. 110 minutes.

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