Brasília: Life After Design

Bart Simpson
2017 | 88 minutes
Countries of Production: Canada, United Kingdom
Country Featured: Brazil
US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Brasília is a bold urban experiment and a city unlike any other. Conceived in 1956 on an uninhabited site in the geographic center of Brazil, the city was intended to be a fresh start for the new political order, free from the messy colonial baggage of the previous capital, Rio de Janeiro. This atmospheric tribute to the sights and sounds of Brasília’s large-scale modernist achievement pans across urban vistas and images of city dwellers moving through the enormous spaces between buildings.

Co-presented by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York and Open House New York


Activate: My Perspective

"I first visited Brasília in 2004. I had heard about the city’s buildings, but to be surrounded by them was something else entirely. It was like walking in a futuristic museum…an often isolating combination of concrete and sky, positioned in the middle of the desert.The utopian city plan itself is about micromanaging life and can’t substantially change, but people change all the time. This became my question: how can people connect in a city built on division? How do you live in someone else’s idea of community? Over the years as the people I met helped me understand the layers of this unique place, the film became a meditation on the life that begins when the design has ended."

—  Bart Simpson | Director, Brasília: Life After Design