10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

Arábia (Araby) (2017 Feature Film)

Marisol Gómez Mouakad | Puerto Rico, Mexico | 2016 | color | DCP | 90 min | Spanish, English | e.s.

In an old factory, a young man finds the diary of a worker who died in an accident. In the same way that in certain Westerns an anonymous drifter driven by a primitive survival instinct can become the hero, Araby focuses on the life of a marginalized worker in contemporary Brazil. Original, socially committed, and poignant.

Araby starts with the young Andre, growing up close to an aluminum factory in the industrial town of Ouro Preto. Following a fatal accident in the factory, he is sent to the house of the dead factory worker, Cristiano. There, he finds a diary describing the last twenty years in the life of this hard-working man. This forms the story of Araby: Cristiano’s wanderings, adventures, love, and desperation.
Told almost entirely in voice-over, the film pulls us into the stories of Cristiano and the loners and fortune-seekers who cross his path. Life throws them few opportunities, but you can always start again somewhere new and choose whether to raise your voice or remain silent. The lives of the poverty-stricken, oppressed, hard-working people who have contributed so much to Brazil’s now-booming economy have seldom been portrayed with the freshness, inventiveness, and respect shown here.
Co-directors Uchoa and Dumans have succeeded exceptionally well in combining an epic, neo-realist biographical style with crystal-clear formalism. In their hands, the expansive hinterland of the state of Minas Gerais is brought to life like a red-and-green version of the American West (with an industrial complex here and there), appropriately supported by a country-folk soundtrack.

Place: CINEMA 4

Date: 7 April 2017

Time: 21:00

Duration: 1:13

Place: CINEMA 3

Date: 9 April 2017

Time: 18:15

Duration: 1:12

Year in



Affonso Uchoa, João Dumans


Leonardo Feliciano


Aristides de Sousa
Murilo Caliari
Renata Cabral
Gláucia Vandeveld




Rodrigo Lima
Luiz Pretti




96 min


Francisco César


Vitor Graize

Production Company

Katásia Filmes

Production Design

Priscilla Amoni


Katásia Filmes


João Dumans
Affonso Uchoa

Sound Design

Pedro Durães

Year of Production


Affonso UCHOA (1984, Brazil) is a curator and filmmaker based in Contagem, Brazil. He has directed several films that screened and won awards at international film festivals, such as his second film The Hidden Tiger (2014). Together with João Dumans he directed Araby (2017).

João DUMANS is a screenwriter and director based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. As producer, editor, and writer he has participated in various feature films. He wrote the script of Where I Grow Old by Marília Rocha (IFFR Tiger Awards Competition 2016). His first film was Everybody Has Its Own Way (2014). He previously collaborated with Affonso Uchoa on The Hidden Tiger (2014).



Uchoa: Desígnio (2009, short), Afternoon Woman (2010), A Vizinhança do Tigre/The Hidden Tiger (2014), Arábia/Araby (2017) Dumans: Todo mundo tem sua cachaça/Everybody Has Its Own Way (short, 2014), Arábia/Araby (2017)