This documentary is among the best films at the present that are dedicated to the memory of the victims and missing people of the military dictatorship.
Grieving New Moon
By Vladimir Carvalho*
Well received by the circuit of film festivals, Grieving New Moon, by Leila Jinkings, is now released on DVD for the reception of those who have not had the opportunity to appreciate its qualities.
Based on rigorous research, this documentary traces in compelling lines, an affectionate profile of Hiram Lima Pereira, communist militant with strong presence in the Northeast and Sao Paulo as a member of the Brazilian Communist Party Central Committee. Arrested, tortured and killed in prisons of the military dictatorship, Hiram was one of those human creatures with intense charisma and of such simplicity, that he soon captivated people and his militant comrades. Journalist, poet and theater actor, the proverbial joie de vivre, he was exemplary because of the conviction, optimism and confidence in the cause he embraced.
A loving father and husband, he left his family with a legacy of dedication, zeal and tenderness, and those are the characteristics that jump in the eyes of the spectators when remembered in this sensitive and moving medium-length film.
From the opening scene, the film shows its potential with Hiram's little grandson writing and reading his homework, "recalling" in all innocence the grandfather who disappeared. Jinkings could not have been happier with her choice to elect an approach that fits like a glove on the subject. Especially when giving space and dominance to a kind of informal conversation among the daughters of Hiram, each pulling the thread of a tender narrative impregnated with just emotion, without ever falling into the martyrdom that often, by excess drift to the grotesque. And this is not rare to happen in films dealing with similar stories.
Everything takes place in a family environment and atmosphere, between photos, clippings, and archive pieces, as if the daughters looked throughout a family album where they remember facts and events surrounding Hiram's life and political activity, but also the sweet moments of life with their father, from their early age to the apex of the militant life with his tragic disappearance. In this atmosphere, not even a classical piano where one of the ladies plucks a waltz composed in pair by her parents is missing.
However, crucial testimonies of friends and comrades who were supportive since the start of tribulations of the illustrious northeastern are also there, in different environments. As was the case of Ariano Suassuna, notorious Catholic who, in a magnanimous gesture, welcomed and hid the communist at his home in the dark ages of 1964, when Hiram was fiercely hunted by the repression. With a concise team and an edition that contemplates the synthesis, this documentary is among the best films at present that are dedicated to the memory of the victims and missing people from the brutal military dictatorship that so tarnished our history.
* Documentary filmmaker author of O País de São Saruê, Conterrâneos Velhos de Guerra, Barra 68, among others.