A threadbare biker gang in the drought-ravaged Brazilian outback steals a holy sculpture for its rainmaking promises. But when their leader falls for the lost virgin whose sacrifice may open the sky, the extremes of blind faith are put to question. Meanwhile, the sculpture’s owner has channeled Anton Chigurh to track down the robbers. See more here.
What inspired this story?
The stories my grandfather used to tell me about Brazil’s northeastern desert wilderness always depicted a place filled with brave and strong heroes. As I imagined this faraway land, I got transported to a place where fearless men and women battled against their enemies with sharp knives and impenetrable armors. Back to reality, however, my daily routine growing up in metropolitan São Paulo restricted itself to ‘80s punk rock, the birth of Brazilian rock n’ roll, and the globalization of pop music.
The characters in Holy Biker were born out of this blend of realities—the fusion of São Paulo’s urban jungle with the ruthless backlands. This is explicit through the film, in the art direction, characters, and the rhythm of the narrative. Even when looking at the two main characters of the story, Ara [Cauã Reymond] and Laura [Luisa Arraes], we can’t help but notice the extreme paradox that comes between their attitudes and diverse backgrounds
What challenges did you face during production?
The most difficult thing was to adapt to the locations. It was very dry and hot. There were thorns and snakes everywhere. We shot in Brazil’s semiarid northeast, between the states of Bahia and Pernambuco. It is a place that still suffers of long periods of drought. It was difficult for the crew and actors to be all day in the sun in places that were very difficult to reach with equipment.
Another big limitation was the shooting schedule. We had only six weeks to shoot everything, including the stunts, in these hard places. We had to prepare a lot to get everything done. A small part of the crew, including me, had to live there for four months to prepare everything, planning each shot in every scene with the greatest level of detail.
What hopes do you have for the film?
I hope the film helps the growth of Brazilian genre movies. Holy Biker is a fantasy, a western, and it was made with a very strict budget in a very difficult location. Because of budget restrictions, people with the courage to produce genre movies in Brazil must be very creative. I hope that Holy Biker encourages more people to go this way in Brazil.
How has it been received in Brazil?
It got a very good response, with big audiences in the north, northeast, and big urban places, such as Rio and São Paulo. We were very glad the people in the northeast liked it a lot, because although it is fiction, it does talk a lot about their history.