A massacre initiated by the followers of an apocalyptic religious sect has left more than 100 people dead - including the self-appointed executioners slain by fellow cult members. Three years have passed... On the anniversary of the slaughter, four friends who lost loved ones in the tragedy seek solace at a secluded lake where it all began. After their car is stolen, nightfall holds them prisoner at the former headquarters of the sect. They encounter a man - the only survivor - who was with the executioners until the killing commenced, and their pilgrimage takes a strange and unexpected turn. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
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This film is very quiet, rather slow paced, and very thoughtful in atmosphere. I cannot claim to have been riveted by it, however impressed I was. I find the idea of calling it a "mystery" to be a bit farfetched, because, while there is some mystery, it is more a psychological film about grief than anything else. The story is told through many seemingly disjointed scenes which jump between past and present, across space, and between the five main characters without much rhyme or reason. This scattered effect is very similar to the experience many people would have when in the grips of grief, so in the film it makes a great deal of sense.
The film is very atmospheric. There is minimal distraction from the sensation of it being "everyday" and "every person". There is no background music distracting you, minimal unnecessary noise, few panning shots. The film seeks to put you into a somewhat surreal setting by mimicking real life very closely. The silence, the the things kept in shots and kept out, and minimal close-ups manage to maintain that illusion very well.
I think that it also helps the viewer to appreciate the film when they know a little bit about the situation which it is hinting towards--which was the 1995 terrorist attacks in Matsumoto and the Tokyo subways using sarin gas which was perpetrated by a Japanese doomsday cult called Aum Shinrikyo. For the families who lost their loved ones, there is some closure--but many people lost loved ones to the cult itself and were denied that closure. The film starts off by drawing attention to this--there was a memorial for the victims mentioned, but none for the perpetrators who were killed by the cult. This is an important thing to remember when viewing this film.
The acting, direction, and story were all excellent. I, overall, really enjoyed the lack of theatrics, and thought it was very fitting. There is enough unrevealed information to keep you curious about what else will be revealed by the end, and all of the characters are rather slowly unwrapped, which keeps it interesting. This being said, if you are looking for a suspenseful, fantastical, or even a particularily straightforward movie to watch, I would not recommend it. It is neither a comedy, nor a tragedy, nor a mystery. It is, however, an artistic and thought-provoking piece. People who enjoy those will most likely enjoy this film as well.