SIDERAL a film by CARLOS SEGUNDO. 2021. Brazil/France. 15 min. A rocket launch inspires an overworked mother to contemplate life beyond the stars in this sci-fi parable by a rising South-American filmmaker.

This film screened exclusively for a week and is currently not available online.

The films of rising Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Segundo often invoke the surreal in counterpoint to its representations of everyday life. The filmmaker’s black-and-white short Sideral stands out in this regard, packing a poignant domestic drama into a fiction about a historic rocket launch in Northern Brazil; in turn, universalizing the unsolvable complications of family life and making cosmic fantasies appear both down-to-earth and awesome.


Segundo links Sideral with a quote by philosopher Friedrich Nietzche in which he notes finding freedom is about fitting “our desire into the desire for an event.” This  longing is tangible throughout the film, in which scenes of a dissatisfied mother carrying out domestic chores are paired against television broadcasts of the local rocketship. The mother’s wish to escape the drudgeries of everyday life is laid out as Chekov’s rocket slowly grows from an object of fascination into a potential vehicle of liberation for the working-class figure.


“In my works, I try to build a place that is on the edge of the impossible and the possible. In the sense of reality and how it can be reworked and enhanced in this limit of the almost impossible.” CARLOS SEGUNDO


Segundo claims he has “never wanted to go to space,” that he is simply attracted to “its immensity and infiniteness.” Sideral indulges in this sense of wonder; its narrative twists amplify its mystery and offer a portal of infinite outcomes that reflect the untapped potential of human imagination.


Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1979, Segundo’s natural disposition for captivating images and elegant storytelling have set him apart as an exciting new talent in Brazilian cinema. In 2015, his short film Atlantic debuted in Visions du Reel, and was followed up by his short study of skin and pain Subcutaneo in 2018. The following year, Segundo released his feature debut Slits, a drama about ruptures in the time-space continuum that anticipates the Oscar short-listed Sideral’s elements of sci-fi. He also holds a doctorate in cinema, master’s degree in psychoanalysis, teaches at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), and founded the Brazilian production company O Sopro do Tempo, which translates to “The Breath of Time.” Segundo is currently working on his second feature Milk Powder, a film about an existential rockstar at odds with Brazil’s rising far-right.


Text written by Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer.

Credits for
Priscilla Vilela, Ênio Cavalcante, Fernanda Cunha & Matheus Brito
produced by
Mariana Hardi, Pedro Fiuza, Damien Megherbi & Justin Pechberty
cinematography by
Julio Schwantz & Carlos Segundo
editing by
Jérôme Bréau & Carlos Segundo
music by
Jérôme Rossi
art direction by
Paola Ottoni