Lucimara is a fearless daredevil. She climbs trees and the shore’s rocks, and even makes her own fishing weapons, from hooks, blades and bamboo. Living on the coast of Brazil, Lucimara is part of the last remaining Caiçara community, and the shining star of No Kings. The Caiçara live in East Brazil and are descendants of indigenous people, Europeans, and Africans. When director Emilia Mello asks the locals what it means to be Caiçara, the gentle fisherman Ismail replies “one moment, I’ll google it”.
The documentary takes place in a small village situated between the Atlantic and the rainforest. Days consist of fishing, gardening, lounging on the beach, reading poetry, and making food. T-shirts are adorned with Western band names. No Kings however is not a straightforward depiction of an indigenous culture, as conflicted thoughts are put to the screen, where some feel sorrow for living and dying in the same spot, whilst others have been forcibly removed from their home since the Brazilian government does not recognise the Caiçara’s right to land.
Yet, No Kings takes a right turn from a simple anthropological view, as Mello herself is undeniably pulled into her own film. Lucimara beams at Mello through the camera, and eventually roles are reversed and Lucimara is the one asking the questions. As the thematic gradually shifts, the anthropological gives space to the poetic.
Kaisu Tervonen (Translation: Lydia Taylerson)