A nerve-rattling tale of a kidnapped child and the distraught parents left behind, Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Coimbra’s suspenseful feature debut captures the darkness that ensues when panic breeds suspicion and love turns to hate.

Contemporary World Cinema

A Wolf at the Door

Fernando Coimbra

Sylvia (Fabíula Nascimento) is horrified to learn that her six-year-old daughter Clarinha has just been picked up at school by an unknown woman. Still reeling from the shock, she waits impatiently with her husband, Bernardo (Milhem Cortaz), at the police station, where they are both questioned. Bernardo confesses to a detective that he believes he knows who is responsible for the kidnapping: his lover, Rosa (Leandra Leal). When Rosa calls him to arrange a rendezvous, Bernardo agrees to meet her, hoping against hope that she will appear with Clarinha in hand.

A Wolf at the Door, the suspenseful debut feature by Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Coimbra, captures the darkness that can fall over a couple when love mixes with hate. Set in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, this passionate, tragic tale employs absorbing flashbacks to illuminate the contradictory perspectives of Sylvia, Bernardo, and Rosa. Gradually, we see how each is caught in a tangle of lies and deception.

Expertly photographed — the camera prowls the city's streets rather than its landmark beaches — this thriller establishes a realistic tone with protracted sequences that draw out the heightened anxiety of what is every parent's worst nightmare. Coimbra is unafraid to explore the grimmest sides of the human condition and the cruelties of which people are capable.

Diana Sanchez

Screenings

Fri Sep 06

Scotiabank 10

Industry
1:45pm
Tue Sep 10

Scotiabank 10

Industry
11:15am
Wed Sep 11

Scotiabank 3

Regular
9:30pm
Thu Sep 12

TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Regular
3:30pm
Sun Sep 15

Scotiabank 2

Regular
8:15pm