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Film still from Janaina Wagner’s film “QUEBRANTE”. A large moon balloon is transported on a pickup truck on a sunny road.
© Janaina Wagner
  • Director

    Janaina Wagner

  • Brazil / 2024
    23 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


A spell breaking, QUEBRANTE traverses the caves, ruins, and phantasmagorias of the Trans-Amazonian BR230 Highway, portraying its stones and its ghosts. Set in the tiny town of Rurópolis (Pará) – the very first one ever built on the Highway, to serve as a base for the workers constructing the road – QUEBRANTE follows Ms. Erismar, known in the region as The Cave Woman. The retired elementary school teacher was the one who discovered the region’s caves. She would enter the dark unknown holes and explore their expanses with only a candle in her hands and a lighter tied to her pants.
A huge nationalist propaganda effort, part of the progress and development project of Brazil, the Trans-Amazonian Highway was implemented during the civic-military dictatorship, which lasted from 1964 to 1985, and it is today still a warm scar of the wrecked dream of the country’s history.
QUEBRANTE is a conversation between the moon and the stones, and freely inspired by Robert Smithson’s project The Truly Underground Cinema (1971) and Maya Deren’s film The Very Eye of Night (1958).

Artist and filmmaker Janaina Wagner works across video, drawing, and installation. Currently a PhD fellow at Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains in France, she aims to present a critical understanding of the ways in which humans impose systems of order and control upon their surroundings.

Production Janaina Wagner. Director Janaina Wagner. Screenplay Janaina Wagner. Cinematography Lucas Barbi. Editing Yuyan Wang. Music Carla Boregas. Sound design Ricardo Zollner.

World sales Square Eyes

Films: 2011: A DOENÇA DA MORTE / The Sickness of Death (10 min.). 2013: MORTINHOS / Little Dead Ones (5 min.). 2014: TERRENO / Terrain (9 min.), PROGRESSO / Progress (4 min.). 2015: AVISO DE INCÊNDIO (video installation, 30 min.). 2016: CRIATURA / Creature (10 min.). 2017: LOBISOMEM / Werewolf (18 min.). 2018: VENTURA (12 min.). 2019: LICANTROPIA / Lycantrophy (27 min.). 2020: CÃES MARINHEIROS / Sailors Dogs (7 min.). 2021: ESTRADAS, FANTASMAS / Ghosts, Roads (10 min.), CURUPIRA E A MÁQUINA DO DESTINO / Curupira and the machine of the destiny (24 min.). 2022: GREEN FLESH, GREEN FLASH (9 min.). 2024: A MALA DA NOITE / The Bag of the Night (70 min.), QUEBRANTE.

Bonus Material

  • Film still from Janaina Wagner’s film “QUEBRANTE”. Images of the moon projected onto a cave wall, the projection being the only light source.


  • Film still from Janaina Wagner’s film “QUEBRANTE”. Projection onto a cave wall.


    A look behind the scenes shows Janaina Wagner and her team during filming

Program Schedule

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur