Raquel 1:1 had a World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in 2022. The film went on to screen at other festivals and is now available on VOD/digital platforms. Synopsis: From director Mariana Bastos, RAQUEL 1:1 follows Raquel, a religious teenager who moves with her father to a small town in search of a new life. During her first days there, she has a mysterious experience during which she believes she is given an important and controversial mission related to the Bible. Alongside her new friends, a group of evangelical girls from the local church, Raquel dives deep into her spirituality and relives the pain of profound traumas. With support from some and resentment from others, Raquel tries to balance herself in a disturbing spiral of faith, reason, and madness.
The film begins slowly and quietly with a man and a younger female arriving at a home (set in Brazil). There needs to be more dialogue to distinguish the relationship between the two individuals. Still, they begin to move into the fully furnished home with many religious items and art on the walls. The teen has her set of books and notebooks and prepares to read what appears to be religious material. The script can be more descriptive to establish where the story is going.
At the start of a new day, she introduces herself as Raquel (Valentina Herszage) to two other teen girls. There are bible meetings, and she signs up. Later in the week, she tells her father, Hermes she has invited friends from her church for dinner. He warns her not to get too involved there, and the two have differences about participating in church activities. He reminds Raquel that this is a small town. Everyone knows about others and talks.
During a church youth group meeting, one of the girls she first met, Ana Helena (Priscila Bittencourt), is too curious about Raquel’s reason for moving to town. The response does not satisfy Ana Helena, who presses her for more details, but Raquel does not want to divulge that she lost her mother in a tragic and violent death. Ana Helena feels empowered to behave with “authority” as her mother, Elisa (Lianna Matheus), leads the church meetings at the pulpit.
Raquel has her reasons for questioning the Bible’s teachings as interpreted by Elisa and Ana Helena, but she quickly finds out the town folks don’t like it. Elisa behaves too familiarly with Raquel’s father, but the subject is not explored. Hermes does not accept her at home, but Elisa is pushy and delivers news about his daughter’s behavior. Raquel now has an ally, Laura (Eduarda Samara), which stirs the town into imagining more, calling it a cult. It just gets worse from there for Raquel.
Herszage’s performance is excellent as she forges forward on her thoughts of reform, but mostly about how women are treated. Although the script’s ending is a bit confusing, it is worth viewing for the performances and story with good intentions.
Language: Portuguese with English Subtitles Runtime: 90 mins
It is now available on digital and VOD as of this month.
Source: Breaking Glass Pictures