Tattoo is set in Recife, Brazil in 1978 and depicts two different worlds of the country at the time. Clécio is a stage actor who manages a theatre group that openly criticises the politics of the country through avant-garde theatre. The star of the group, and Clécio’s lover, is Paulete (Rodrigo García) who has a bright and big personality. Clécio also has a son, Tuca (Deyvid Queiroz) whose mother Deusa (Sylvia Prado) wants to protect him from politics and the military at all costs.
Fininho is part of an entirely different world. The 18-year old is a soldier who lives in barracks where he is constantly subjected to homophobic bullying. Being a bisexual and a part of a very conservative family is difficult in its own right but when he goes home to see his girlfriend Jandira (Bruna Barros), who happens to be Paulete’s sister, two very different worlds collide. When Fininho meets Clécio, he does not just develop feelings for him but his mere presence creates a variety of problems for and disapproval from everyone around him.
Tattoo tells a story of social injustice, prejudice, jealousy and love that shows how feelings and emotions can come in the way of anything, regardless of initial good intentions. The film is a period piece that comments on society’s double standards during the military regime in Brazil in the 1970s.
“Hilton Lacerda’s film debut is a lively take on the conflict between the straight establishment and the gay avant garde in late ’70s Brazil, and won a clutch of awards at the recent Rio festival.”
— Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter
“At once transgressive and innocent, Hilton Lacerda’s colorful debut weaves a gay love story set during the days of Brazil’s military dictatorship.”
— Dennis Harvey, Variety
“Much like a Tattoo, which both gives the film’s title and provides the backdrop for a powerful tear-inducing scene, we must choose how to inscribe and modify our body but also realize that it can be a potent political weapon.”
— Tiny Mixtapes
Did You Know?
The film Tattoo is set in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil where writer and director Hilton Lacerda was born in 1965. It was just a year after the Brazilian coup d’état in 1964 when President João Goulart was overthrown by the military, which put the military in control of the country. Furthermore, the theatre group that Clécio manages is based on a real theatre group from the time. One song from the film’s soundtrack, Esse Cara, was performed by Irandhir Santos (with Yuri Queiroga and Sérgio Ferraz). Review our Gay Themed Films Here