DCA Archive

The Boy and the World
(O Menino e o Mundo)

Alê Abreu

A vibrant colour palette and ravishing samba rhythms make this wordless animated feature an absolute treat for all the senses. Winner of best feature, best animation and (most tellingly of all) audience choice awards in places as diverse as Ottawa, Shanghai, Havana and Annecy makes it clear – this is a truly unique but universally captivating film, which has much to say to audiences of all ages.

Cuca, a young Brazilian boy, leaves his simple, rural home to follow his father into the city, where he has had to travel in search of work. Along the way, he witnesses the transformation from rural to urban, visually reflected in the colours and styles and complexity of the animation, eventually arriving in the neon metropolis with its faceless workers and industrial cityscape.

The ultimate strength of this dialogue-free film is that it is left open to audiences to experience different levels within the same narrative. Brazilian animator, filmmaker and artist Alê Abreu employs everything from kaleidoscopic mosaics to splashy watercolours to archive film footage highlighting the tension between city and countryside, poor and wealthy, manual and mechanised, developed and developing.