Review: The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão

The colours, the colours, the colours. Blue and red. Blue and green. Blue lace curtains. Red lipstick. The green of the leaves and the plants and vegetation which surrounds the lush Rio De Janeiro. A green dress. The air is sticky and thick with heat. Lying on a bed together, young and innocent, young and in love. Sucking on peaches and talking about sex. A pretty blue dress and begging your sister to cover for you. The excitement of a sailor waiting for you outside the window, the thrilling anticipation of it. A yellow dress, the things you do for your sister, and a dream. Stay in this moment. Stay here. Hold onto it. It won’t be like this again. 

A gold earring on the ground. The same earring on a golden chain, forever around her neck. The same earring, forever hanging in one ear, waiting waiting waiting for its sister to join it. Burying her face into her pillow to smother herself in the scent of her sister’s perfume. “It was sunny before, now it is raining.” 

Framed by two columns of darkness and rosy in the center, the city lights glitter in the distance. To the left of frame: a door opens, and in the column of light, the shape of a woman steps through. I can’t see her face, but there’s a silhouette of a girl crowding, falling, blending into the city and the darkness. The invisible life is not just of Eurídice Gusmão. It’s Guida Gusmão, too. Their lives are invisible because they are estranged from each other. Not only the lives they live without each other, but the life Guida creates in her mind and dreams for her sister, too. This life is also invisible, but is it any less real? The piano, the music. Disappearance. 

While playing, sisters are reunited. One in a floral dress, the other dressed as a bride. Together you dance and you smile, the way it should be. On stage, the woman playing the piano wears a rare smile.

Vienna waits for you. 

Heat. Blood. Bathrooms. Mirrors. The mirrors hold you in this space. The doorways hold you in this space. A husband, a lack of a husband, a father. They hold you in this space. 

Who do you want to be in this world? Do you even recognise yourself anymore? Such an intense love between sisters, captured so compellingly by Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler (I worship at their altar), can never wane, nor be torn apart by circumstance. It is a tragic loss when their paths cross, when they are so close to each other, but remain invisible. Close enough to touch. What is most striking is not the colours (and oh, the colours). It is not the distance, but the love that makes a family, and the intensity of it. The everlasting passion and hope and immensity of it. It lasts until the end. A sister never forgets. 

The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão will be playing on 10 August 2019 as part of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Visit the MIFF site for more info.


Claire White is a writer, bookseller and teen screen tragic from Melbourne, Australia. She is currently undertaking an Honours thesis in Screen Studies and has written for Junkee, 4:3, The Big Issue, Screen Queens and more. Follow her at @teencineteq and @theclairencew

Claire White