A Fome de Lázaro
Brazil, 17 min
In the Brazilian countryside, the village of Monteiros hosts a unique event every year. When a person’s prayers are granted, they offer the village’s dogs a feast. Between religious celebration and popular belief, Lazarus’ Hunger powerfully documents a community coming together.
In the Brazilian countryside, a pack of dogs in a small village called Monteiros aspire to a new yearly feast that are offered to them as a pledge to Saint Lazarus. The image of Saint Lazarus is often represented by a dying man surrounded by dogs licking the wounds of his legs. Derived from a biblical parable, the story of Lazarus made him a beggar, canonised as protector of animals and lepers. Henceforth, venerated, he is asked to cure people of skin diseases. The film’s editing follows the rhythm of the preparations for the event, to which Diego Benevides devotes striking attention. Without unveiling the nature of the ritual, the film documents the stages of this procession. Close up to the action, the filmmaker takes into account the sanctity of each gesture, from the beating drum to the cooking of the food, to the hanging out to dry of the table cloth that is used for the meal. What arises is a multitude of tableaux in which the power of the images reveals this religious celebration as the meeting place for a community of people.