Happy Desert (Deserto Feliz) (2007)





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Movie Info

A teenage girl's descent into prostitution sets the stage for this gritty drama from Brazilian filmmaker Paulo Caldas. Sixteen-year-old Jessica (Nash Laila) lives in a poverty-stricken community in Northeast Brazil with her mother (Magdale Alves) and Mom's latest boyfriend, Biu (Servilio Holanda). Money is short (one day Jessica discovers her pet armadillo is being served for lunch) and there's little to do, and one day a combination of lust and boredom leads Biu to rape Jessica. Jessica is emotionally shattered by the experience, and she runs away from home. With no job skills, Jessica supports herself by becoming one of the teenage streetwalkers who work the town's red light district, sharing a tiny apartment with three friends. As Jessica and her best friend Pamela (Hermila Guedes) struggle to keep body and soul together despite their grim circumstances, Jessica frequently daydreams of a better day, with a husband who will give her a home and take care of her. Jessica thinks she may have found just such a man when she meets Mark (Peter Ketnath), a well-to-do German tourist who has come to Brazil to slake his thirst for drugs and young women. However, when Jessica joins Mark in Berlin, she discovers the fates will not be as kind as she had imagined. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
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