2020 / 74 minutes

Directed by
Mattijs van de Port
Country of production

Our bodies are semi-permeable. All over the world, stories are being told about heroes who magically “close” their bodies, so as to become invincible. This film follows one such story, as it is told in Santo Amaro, Bahia (Brazil). Besouro Mangangà was a capoeira player, a black hero, who had closed his body. No bullets, no knives or daggers could pierce his skin. Bahian men explain how “closing the body” makes sense in their precarious and violent world, and why, in the end, this closure can never be accomplished. Soon the filmmaker realizes that his film is not only about the people in Bahia. He too is struggling with the porosity of his body, endlessly trying to strike a balance between shutting the world out and letting the world in.

In the 2021 RAI Film Fest Main Competition
Language and subtitles
Brazilian Portuguese and English, with English subtitles
South America
Essay film Gender Role and Identity Folklore Reflexivity