SUMMARY: A young girl whose heart beats faster and louder than everyone else’s is feared and ostracised by her community.
WHY IT’S HERE: Regina Pessoa’s ‘Tragic Story with Happy Ending’ is the second in the director’s trilogy about childhood, following on from ‘A Noite’. Unlike that hauntingly realistic film, ‘Tragic Story with Happy Ending’ takes the form of a downbeat allegorical fairy tale in which a girl who is ostracised for her differences learns to see them as something that makes her special and is able to escape the mundane world that keeps others straitjacketed in apathy. Gorgeous to look at, the visuals were achieved by taking Pessoa’s drawings and transferring them to glossy paper, brushing them with Indian ink, scratching them with a blade to give the effect of an engraving, then photographing them. The result is arresting and perfect for the content. When the happy ending finally comes, it is tempered by the juxtaposition of the disapproving masses and the soul-sucking routines they are left with.