Private Desert
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Private Desert

Directed by Aly Muritiba

Year: 2021
Running Time: 120 minutes
Country: Brazil
Language: Portuguese with English subtitles

“Remember when we talked about being alone in the world?” Sara is a genderfluid blue-collar worker who lives as her male birth identity Robson by day while caring for her religious grandmother in Sobradinho, a small town in the northeast of Brazil. Daniel, who teaches in a police academy in southern metropolis Curitiba, has been placed on unpaid leave after a violent incident that’s all over the news. The only thing holding him together is his online romance with Sara, whom he has never met in person. When she suddenly disappears, Daniel drives 2,000 miles across Brazil to find her. He posts Sara’s picture all over town but no one recognizes her, until he receives a mysterious call from someone claiming to know her and asking to meet. What follows is a journey of the heart that will change Sara and Daniel forever. In the tradition of A Fantastic Woman and Strawberry and Chocolate, the film is both a swooning sun-baked romance and a triumphant affirmation of queer love and humanity at a time when LGBTQ+ rights are increasingly imperiled everywhere. An official selection of the Venice Film Festival and Brazil’s official submission to the 94th Academy Awards®, Private Desert boasts lush cinematography and a haunting atmospheric score. You’ll never hear “Total Eclipse of the Heart” the same again.


"Achingly beautiful and incredibly erotic."

“Tackled with great delicacy and shored up by intense performances.”

"Brimming with electricity yet bathed in the transformative power of love.”

“A surprising and exquisite slow-burn film that pays off big time with an explosion of subtle warmth and eroticism.”

“A potent rejoinder to the hypermasculine, explicitly transphobic values of the Bolsonaro regime.”

  • Brazil’s Official Submission for International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards®

  • WINNER - BNL People’s Choice Award at Venice International Film Festival

  • Official Selection: Venice International Film Festival - Giornate Degli Autori

  • Official Selection: São Paulo International Film Festival

  • Official Selection: San Francisco International Film Festival

  • Official Selection: Frameline Film Festival

  • Official Selection: OUTshine Film Festival

Antonio Saboia
Pedro Fasanaro
Thomas Aquino
Laila Garin
Zezita De Matos
Sandro Guerra
Luthero De Almeida
Otávio Linhares

Directed by Aly Muritiba
Writers Henrique dos Santos and Aly Muritiba

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