Bel Borba Aqui Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco calls the city of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, the “Black Rome.” The rich culture of Salvador emanates from a fusion of European, African, and Native Indian roots. Today, tattooed onto the skin of the cityʼs 500-year-old urban landscape, one observes the ubiquitous public artwork created by the artist Bel Borba over the past 35 years. The documentary film, Bel Borba Aqui, reflects the intense and intimate relationship between this historically rich city and her beloved native son, Bel Borba. (Abramorama) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Oct 20, 2012
    The film doesn't see any contradictions between the man and his work, which is folkloric, mostly upbeat, often humorous. Both art and artist are outsized and entertaining, and that's about all that Bel Borba Aqui has to say.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Nov 18, 2012
    What the film lacks in biographical depth, it makes up for with stirring visuals (including effective bits of split screen, time-lapse photography and animation), a vibrant score and an infectious, in-the-moment spirit.
  3. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Oct 2, 2012
    At one point, Borba speaks with keen perspicacity about embracing Bahian folklore even when it verges on stereotype. This documentary mirrors the enthusiasm of that embrace, but not its artistry.
  4. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Oct 3, 2012
    A vibrant catalogue of his outdoor pieces presented in context with an exhaustive portrait of Borba as a boundlessly energetic, iconoclastic creator, the documentary ties itself too tightly to its subject, mimicking forms and rhythms it never fully makes its own.
  5. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Oct 5, 2012
    Borba keeps referring to himself as "a hero," but the directors, Burt Sun and André Costantini, never delve into his psyche. On the plus side is Costantini's luscious cinematography.
  6. Reviewed by: Rachel Saltz
    Oct 4, 2012
    Bel Borba Aqui gives us plenty to look at, but not much to think about.
  7. Reviewed by: Diego Costa
    Oct 1, 2012
    There's no pointing toward something other than the work itself, no poetic digression, no suggestion of a conceptual dimensionality to the work being produced.

See all 9 Critic Reviews