Fordlandia Malaise

DIRECTOR(S): Susana de Sousa Dias   COUNTRY: Portugal   YEAR: 2019   LANGUAGE(S): Portuguese   SUBTITLES: English   RUNNING TIME: 40 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019


Thursday, 03.10., 4.30 pm, kommkino, Q&A with Ansgar Schäfer (Producer)


Fordlandia Malaise is a film about the memory and the present of Fordlandia, the company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rain forest in 1928. His aim was to break the British rubber monopoly and produce this material in Brazil for his car production in the United States. Today, the remains of construction testify to the scale of the failure of this neocolonialist endeavor that lasted less than a decade.
Nowadays, Fordlandia is a space suspended between times, between the 20th and 21st centuries, between utopia and dystopia, between visibility and invisibility: architectural buildings of steel, glass, and masonry still remain in use while traces of indigenous life left no marks on the ground.
Although Fordlandia is well-known due to the brief Fordian period, one must not forget the history either before or after. Giving voice to the inhabitants who claim the right to write their own story and reject the ghost town label, Fordlandia Malaise blends together archival imagery, drone footage, tales and narratives, myths and songs. (Berlinale)


Susana de Sousa Dias has a PhD in Fine Arts/Video and teaches at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Lisbon. She was Co-Director of the International Film Festival Doclisboa in 2012 and 2013, opening up new sections such as Cinema of Urgency and Passages (Documentary & Contemporary Art). She has received several awards, among them the Grand Prix Cinéma du Réel and the FIPRESCI award (DokLeipzig) for her film 48. She was a guest artist at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, New York. Dias’ cinematic works have been exhibited worldwide at film festivals, art exhibitions and venues such as Documenta 14, PhotoEspaña and the Viennale.


Enfermeiras no Estado Novo (2000), Natureza Morta, Visages d’une dictature (2005), 48 (2009), Natureza Morta/ Stilleben (2010), Luz Obscura (2017), Sombra Branca (2017), Fordlandia Malaise (2019)

PRODUCER: Ansgar Schäfer   CAMERA: Susana de Sousa Dias   EDITOR: Susana de Sousa Dias 

PRODUCTION: Ansgar Schäfer, Kintop