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Film about Zeca Pagodinho will be recorded in the second half of 2024

Just over five years ago, Roberto Faustino read the book “Zeca: Deixa o Samba Me Levar”, written by Jane Barbosa and Leonardo Bruno. He knew, from then on, that the stories, career and life of the samba singer deserved to be brought to the big screen.

Many conversations with Zeca Pagodinho and Jane, years of research in the suburbs of the north zone of Rio de Janeiro and a pandemic later, the film “Let Life Take Me” It will begin production in 2024 — and, according to Faustino's expectations, filmed between August and September this year.

The screenwriter and co-producer explained, in an interview with CNN, that the film is a “fiction that embraces reality”.

“I made a point of doing fiction, because the stories are so incredible that I thought: you don't have to reconstruct it, you have to dramatize it here. It’s not possible for someone to keep saying what exactly happened, this is a world of action, not a world of words”, said Roberto Faustino.

He explained that the current moment is to finalize the script with the film's director, Mauro Lima, and prepare for casting tests and location choices — as both promise to be a challenge.

Faustino explains that two different actors must be chosen to play Zeca, in order to portray the different periods of his life.

“You have to have the way of speaking, the way of singing, the way of walking. Zeca is very peculiar, right? So you have to envision an actor who has all of this, who is intimate with music, who is intimate with samba, who is intimate with Zeca's way of life, and then go to a laboratory for him to transform, from in fact, in Zeca Pagodinho”, explained Faustino.

According to him, there is still no name confirmed for the cast.

With the locations to film in, the challenge is different: filming in the north of Rio proves to be almost impossible due to logistical reasons. “It is likely that we will look for locations that are very similar, so that we can represent the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s in some places where it is easier to produce,” he added.

A “zoom” into Zeca’s life

According to Faustino, the film should go through other periods, but give a greater focus to the beginning of Zeca Pagodinho's professional career — from the end of the 1970s, through the release of his first album and his marriage to Mônica Silva, until the end of the 1970s. 1980s.

“When you make a biography for the cinema, you have to zoom in, right? You have to end it somewhere, because if you were to tell Zeca’s whole life it would be a soap opera, at least a series”, said Faustino. “So we have to close in a specific period that is representative of the trouble, the victory, the difficulties, the loves, the achievements, the failures, the success.”

Only at the end of the film should more documentary images be used, to portray moments that are outside this time frame, but are iconic, such as: the singer's assistance to flood victims in Xerém, in 2013; “Deixa A Vida Me Levar” chosen as the penta samba at the 2002 World Cup; and the Grande Rio parade that honored Zeca in 2023.

Write samba lyrics

At the beginning of his career, Zeca didn't want to be a singer, much less did he imagine being famous.

“He had a lot of skill with the verses in the alto party and he had a lot of skill with the lyrics of the songs, so much so that people started to bring harmonies and composed songs for him to put lyrics to”, he explained. “So, over time, he accumulated many songs that he composed, and suddenly, when he finally accepted being a singer, he went to record his first album and he had a lot of hits in the drawer, and they all exploded, right?”

One of the highlights of the film, guarantees Faustino, is precisely the representation of high party : “The high party ended up being less known in Brazil than the pagode, but it is a very important thing because you improvise. They are not composed songs, they are improvised verses all the time, as if it were a duel, a challenge. And the film starts with one of those challenges, and ends with one of those challenges.”

Roberto Faustino also gave some spoilers of his favorite moments from the film during the interview with CNN check it out here.

Source: CNN Brasil

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