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Bay of All Saints
A film by Annie Eastman
US/Brazil, 2012, 74 minutes, Color, DVD, Portugese, Subtitled
Order No. W131103
In Salvador, Bahia, next to one of Brazil’s wealthiest cities, generations of impoverished families have lived in a community of palafitas, shacks built on stilts over the ocean bay. Under a government program to reclaim and restore the bay, hundreds of families face forced relocation.
The stories of Geni, Jesus, and Doña Maria, three single mothers and their families shape this film’s narrative as they confront uncertainty and insecurity. Each woman offers a perspective of hope and self-determination, often graced by humor, in facing frequently dire circumstances. As their community is almost completely torn down and paved over, each begins to fight anew for the future. Filmed over six years, this extraordinary documentary offers fresh insights into environmental justice and notions of home for citizens bypassed by Brazil’s economic boom. With the World Cup coming in 2014 and the Olympics two years later, this is an essential film for understanding a country that will soon be in the world spotlight.


South by Southwest Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Feature Documentary
Woods Hole Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Feature Documentary

  • Mill Valley Film Festival
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
  • Hamptons International Film Festival
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival
  • Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Starz Denver Film Festival
  • Miami International Film Festival
  • It’s All True Film Festival

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    “The characters are strong, bold, and captivating women…“Bay of All Saints” is more than a documentary about human misery. The movie also demonstrates how the corruption, the inefficiency and the bureaucracy of public agencies aggravates social problems in Brazil…[the film] criticizes the way that the mass media exploits a poor neighborhood in order to promote itself and, at the same time, manipulates the people with possibly political purposes.”
    Delaware Review of Latin American Studies

    "3.5 stars…Offering a profound examination of poverty in a community with a deep-rooted sense of place, this is highly recommended."
    Video Librarian

    "BAY OF ALL SAINTS is poignantly revelatory and inspirational."

    "...paints a dispiriting picture of life in a Brazilian slum and offers no cheap expression of hope beyond the fighting spirit found, however intermittently, in the community itself."
    Hollywood Reporter

    “Ecshews stereotypical portraits of Brazilian slums . . . Instead, it seeks out the stories whose protagonists are moved to articulate their desire for basic human rights.”
    Ela Bettencourt
    Slant Magazine

    "Exposes the disastrous consequences of the chronic government corruption and negligence . . . in a community that . . . has managed to kept its fighting spirit intact."
    Mill Valley Film Festival

    "Offers a glimpse at the complexities of urban poverty, the sacrifices these women make for their children’s survival, and the demands of life on the bay."
    Belfast Film Festival

    "BAY OF ALL SAINTS" should be required viewing for those interested in, and making claims about, poverty, gender and marriage, and population in the twenty-first century."
    Jack David Eller
    Anthropology Review Database

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    Bay of All Saints is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us