Grocery store employees, today’s essential workers, get star treatment in MY DARLING SUPERMARKET (made prior to the pandemic). Set within a bright, colorful supermercado in São Paulo, Brazil, this charming, funny documentary glides through a seemingly endless array of vibrantly designed shelves and displays, but it’s the store’s employees who take center stage. Rodrigo (in bread) discusses quantum physics and parallel universes; Santo (a forklift operator) builds video game cities; a security officer tracks possible shoplifters on closed circuit TVs (“Two suspects near the condensed milk!”); Ivan (a baker) likes to dress as Goku, a Manga character; and then there’s the artist who lovingly paints the prices. A panoply of individuals with fears, hopes, and questions about their place in the universe are celebrated in a quirky portrait that juxtaposes their idiosyncrasies with the assumed mundanity of bringing food to our table. (Written by Film Forum)
Note from the director: The idea for this film first started to mature in my head a few years back when I was shopping late at night at an almost empty supermarket.
As they were about to close I was standing still in a corridor looking bleakly at a pile of products without being able to decide what I wanted to have for dinner. I then overheard two voices a few feet away from me: they were from two young men organizing cereal boxes on the shelves. They were having the most intense and passionate conversation about their first love - I think they were around 18, 19 years old. I quietly observed them as they were doing a very mechanical activity, while having a profound dialogue about the purest form of love. Boxes kept moving up and down.
There was something so cinematic in that moment: the finitude of the material world represented in that corridor, the physicality of the repetitive movement of the guys handling the cereal boxes and the conversation they were having. That lasted only a few minutes before they went back to the stock to get more cereal boxes. I concluded instantly that a supermarket would be a great place to make a film.
3 day rental • NR • 80 min. • Portuguese with subtitles
“Areas of the store become like parts of the orchestra - piano used in one place, woodwind in another - building gradually to a symphony of sorts, including a waltz at one point.”
— Screen Daily
“Universal appeal, inventive camerawork and offbeat storytelling. Yankelevich loves every inch of this supermarket and her interest, in turn, endears it to us.”
— Screen Internacional, USA