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The Brazilian Film Academy announced that The Great Mystical Circus will be the country’s bid for the Oscars in the foreign-language category.
The film, which premiered in Cannes, marks the return to fiction of veteran Cinema Novo filmmaker Carlos “Caca” Diegues after more than a decade and features Vincent Cassel in a lead role.
Based on a 1938 poem by Jorge de Lima, the film tells the story of five generations of a prosperous Austrian family who tour the world with their family owned circus in the early 20th century.
This is Brazil’s 46th submission to the Academy Awards and the seventh of a film by Diegues, whose previous bids include Xica da Silva (1976), Bye Bye Brazil (1979) and Tieta do Agreste (1996), although none obtained a nomination.
While Brazil has never won the best foreign-language film Oscar, the country’s history at the Oscars includes a handful of nominations in major categories, like Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund’s City of God (five nominations, including best director, in 2004); Walter Salles’ Central Station (foreign-language film and best actress for Fernanda Montenegro in 1999); and Hector Babenco’s The Kiss of the Spider Woman, which won best actor in a supporting role for William Hurt in 1986.
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