Kino Lorber has brought August Winds to Blu-ray. A meditative, slow film that looks at life in a coastal town of Brazil. In this small town, a young couple battles with love, aging, and the August Winds that bring flooding and tropical storms, disrupting everything around them.
The Movie Itself (3.5/5)
August Winds is, as I said, an incredibly slow film. The first half shows the day to day lives of our main characters, Shirley and Jeison, as well as the villagers in the small town.
Shirley and Jeison are in a relationship, she is from a larger city and has come back to care for an aging relative; he works on a coconut farm and spends his free time diving for seafood. They spend their days on the coconut farm gathering and transporting the fruit from the trees to the warehouse and then boating out in the sun where he dives for lobsters and octopuses and she tans and draws so she can practice to one day be a tattoo artist.
It is an incredible quiet life for the most part, and the first half of the film demonstrates that in an almost painstaking way. Many scenes drift along much longer than you’d expect, with a lot of quiet, intimate looks in their lives. To be perfectly honest, I had to double check that this was not a documentary, as the pacing felt more akin to a that than a drama.
Eventually, the story comes along and we see a corpse that has been found off shore near the village. This corpse is bloated and seems to be somewhat fresh. Each of the villagers treats it’s arrival in different ways. We get a good look at Shirley and Jeison’s responses, which is really the message of the film.
The pacing in August Winds is something fairly rare in movies these days. I would normally say that it detracts from the experience, but in my watch through I actually enjoyed having the extra time to get a feel for the village. There were plenty of beautiful scenic shots of the area and, even though it isn’t a documentary, it still sort of hits in the same vein as one as I feel like I have a greater understanding of life in that part of the world.
Visuals/Picture Quality (3.5/5)
Taking place in such a beautiful part of the world, there is plenty to look at here. Lush forestry, the sea, and closeups of interesting old people are all frequently shown on screen. The only downside is that there is a sort of washed out look in many places and nighttime scenes lose a lot of detail. However, the film still looks pretty good overall.
Score/Audio Quality (4.5/5)
Matching the beauty of the scenery perfectly, the audio track uses the sounds of nature with great effect. This made the film feel incredibly real, and was completely satisfying. Dialog comes through clear and strong, and storm scenes in particular sounded boomy and lifelike.
Special Features (1/5)
Unfortunately, the only extra feature here is a trailer for the film. It’s in HD, but apart from that, there’s not much to say.
Kino Lorber has opted for a sturdy standard Blu-ray case with an attractive cover art for this release. However, there is no art on the inside sleeve, and the disc is very generic and plain.
- Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
- Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Runtime 75 Mins
August Winds Overall (3/5)
August Winds is a drama that reflects on life, love, and death in rural Brazil. It moves at a snails pace, but takes it’s time to show you the real lives of it’s characters. I enjoyed my viewing of this film, but the pacing may throw off many viewers. If you don’t mind taking your time with this one, you just may find a gem.
You can pick it up here.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.