This Brazilian version of Cleopatra is noteworthy for its colorful tone, musical dialogues and tragic sentiment. Rather than focusing on Cleopatra as a femme fatal, this film depicts an intellectual, sensual, and ambitious queen. This film stands out for its theatrical structure achieved through minimal use of images frequently replaced by close-ups and abundant dialogue. The combination of dreamy imagery, reserved movements, and delicate music are also a major feature of this film.
Julio Bressane, who was previously featured in earlier Jeonju International Film Festivals with his movies Days of Nietzche in Turin(2001) and Love Movie(2003), is again featured at the festival, with Cleopatra(2007). Cleopatra is an historic and timeless muse depicted in lots of art works by Vergilius, Plutarchos, Shakespeare, Corneille, Gautier, Andy Warhol, and Mankiewicz, who had Elizabeth Taylor play the role of Cleopatra in his film. Cleopatra is not an easy character to approach, but, as the director mentions, there has never been a Cleopatra who speaks Portuguese. The Cleopatra in Julio Bressane's film is not a bewitching lady who simply attracted Caesar and Antony, but a smart queen of Egypt who tied the Roman Empire to the destiny of Egypt. This movie frees itself from various legends and myths, and thus, focuses on the aspects of Cleopatra as successor of the Ptolemaic Dynasty and the last Pharaoh. Exotic interpretation of foreign history uniquely attracts audiences, as does the film's rhythmic flow and new language. The film's picturesque frames along with its theatrical dimensions and actions(within a mysterious and vague atmosphere) capture the essence of the surrounding erotic aesthetics.
Julio Bressane was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1946. As an adolescent, he frequented the haunts of the nascent Cinema Novo. The Angel Was Born is received as a break with Cinema Novo. In 1970, he founds the production house Belair, whose activity is brusquely interrupted by the military dictatorship, which forces the founders into exile. He returns to Brazil in 1973. He has directed Face to Face (1967) and The Mandarin (1995).