Nocturnal sweats

I woke up at 3 am with night sweats, chills, 100-degree fever, a slight shortness of breath and a dry cough. A slow restlessness, fidgeting in bed, unable to get up to go to the bathroom to wash my face. I remembered a film I saw many years ago in high school, recommended in literature class: Inocência, an adaptation by Walter Lima Jr from the novel by the Franco-Brazilian Visconde de Taunay. Young Inocência with malaria, behind a curtain, disheveled, feverish, in a room on the ranch.

I spent a few hours like that, scattered in thought, isolated in the room without TV while the paracetamol took effect and the viremia subsided. I chatted with a friend on Twitter, and saw the day dawn through the half-open curtain, a pink-orange spring sky. So I screwed up my courage, got out of bed, plugged my laptop into a projector, and started watching Inocência on Youtube.

A very interesting film, a very strong record of patriarchy and colonialism in the 19th century in the Brazilian interior. The eccentric figure of the German butterfly hunter, fascinated by Brazil and local customs. The slaves. The adventurous doctor Cirino, wandering the roads on his horse, looking for sick people to pay his gambling debts. Cirino treats and seduces the young patient, promised by her austere father to another man. There are gripping scenes, like that of a poor leper who wants to consult, but the doctor keeps his distance and refuses. He asks: do you have treatment? No. Can I pass it on to others? Yes.

Virna Teixeira

Translated by Chris Daniels

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