Últimas Conversas (Last Conversations) is the final film from director Eduardo Coutinho, who was killed in 2014. The film, which had to be finished after his passing, shows Coutinho interviewing several students from Rio de Janeiro’s public school system, asking about their lives, their dreams and what they look forward to.
In the making of the film, approximately 30 interviews were conducted with 250 adolescents being surveyed, though the film only shows 8 interviews (9 if you count the director’s own). In it, Coutinho deals with issues such as racism, religion, bullying and family problems. Between the various interviews, some young women get emotional and end up crying or going through a real process of reflection with themselves. At times, Coutinho may be seen as a psychologist for the young people who see him as a respected gentleman whom they can trust to tell their dramas and voice their opinions. Although the filmmaker appears at the beginning of the film complaining about the lack of naturalness of his interviewees, this is not what we see throughout the film. Most young people shown say they do not believe in God, while others go to church and follow all the guidelines imposed by it. Most teens have divorced parents and have already suffered some kind of bullying in school, either because of their race or due to standards of beauty imposed by society. Many often write poetry, usually in their personal journals.
The full film, in Portuguese, is below, and the trailer is here. I really enjoyed it, but I’m biased since I’ve always been a big fan of his work.