I always love when a film goes deep into the heart and soul of a city and I think the film ‘Corpo Electrico’ (Body Electric) by Marcelo Caetano does that for the city of Sao Paolo. This film stars Kelner Macedo as Elias. he works for a clothing manufacturer company in the middle of the city as an assistant designer, and in his work interacts with the workers. He is told by the big bosses not to be too friendly with the lowly workers, but he ignores that. He parties and interacts with them. He is comfortable with his place in the world – he has an older lover who takes care of him – but through his interactions with these people he explores his sexuality and sensuality.
I have seen this film described as a ‘mood piece,’ designed to celebrate the diversity of Brasil. I know there are some discrimination by light and dark skinned Brasilians, but this film shows that there can be harmony amidst that. Elias shows that through his interactions with these people, he can embrace himself fully, and can better get in touch with his most authentic self. And that’s about it – there seems to be no other discernible plot here, as the film shows more a slice of Sao Paolo life more than anything else. Initially, that bothered me (is this film going anywhere, I ask myself) but there are times a film doesn’t need to. It showed me a glimpse of real life of real people, and that’s more than fine with me. Isn’t film a reflection of life anyway?