Burning Night (2019) - full transcript

Eryk Rocha's edgy, impressionistic chronicle of the nocturnal encounters of a Rio cab driver vividly captures the strange unpredictability of a rapidly changing world.

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Evening, Radar family.

I'm driving past Ribalta,
just starting work.

Looks like it just closed,
there's lots of taxis here.

There's a huge crowd outside Ribalta.

Only, I don't know
if they're arriving or leaving.

Shit, man!
I've been driving since 5pm.

R$ 82 in my pocket,
I've filled up twice already.

I'm not even making enough
to pay the bills.

Yesterday, I took home R$ 112.

And today? R$ 50.

Hey, Gil.

Gimme a rundown on the situation.
Where should I go?

Chile Ave is closed,
but there's passengers at both ends.

On Tiradentes Sq.,
people are fighting for taxis.

I'm in Copacabana now,
but I'm rushing back there.

I'm in Lapa, been parked here
since early in the evening.

But it's OK.

That's lame.

- Hello.
- Hey, man.

I nearly banged a chick
in the bathroom.

You're shit-faced, man.

- Let's split.
- Right on.

Off to Jockey Club square.

- Hi.
- Hello. Lower Gávea?

No, to Jockey Sq.

It's the same thing,
Jockey is on this side of Gávea.

Let's go check it out.

Hey, there's lower Bota as well.
Stays open late.

Lower Bota?


Let's go to Botafogo, man!

- Let's go to Jockey.
- Deal!

Check out that ass, dude!

That ain't no ass,
it's a fuckin' table!

Holy cow!
I could put my beer on it.

Jesus Christ!

I wanna know where we're going.

Botafogo, Jockey or fuck it?


Let's go to Jockey, man.

- Let's do it.
- There's restaurants, parties...

You guys have any cash?
Or only cards?

Aren't you paying for us all?
Yes, you are...

- You want cash for the taxi?
- Just asking, man.

You got any cash?

Don't listen to them, it's Botafogo.

This taxi doesn't take cards.
What the fuck!

This service has been around for ages,
and they don't all take cards.

How has the night been so far?
Quiet or frantic?

- At least, there's no traffic.
- This is the best time.

- Let him talk.
- Sorry, man.

What's your name, bro?

- Juvenal?
- He doesn't wanna talk.

- Some respect, he's working.
- I do respect him.

That's Mr. Respectful Worker talking.

- You're fucking with him, he's working.
- No, we're not!

Look what time it is.

You're all over the place.

Tell him to go to Lower Botafogo...

No way, dude...

Did you pass through Botafogo
not long ago?

You didn't?

There's always people there, right?
It never closes.

Hey man, stop touching me, OK?

Good one!

He's right.

You OK back there or still sick?

- Wind down the window.
- No, I'm...

Go on, wind it down.
You never know.

At least you'll puke outside,
not inside the taxi.

Don't worry, he's not gonna puke.

If I throw up, I'll do it out the window,
not on your head.

- Just in case.
- He didn't like that.

I do have a sense of decency.

It's just a precaution.

We don't want to screw it up
while you're working.

I left the chick
'cause I nearly puked all over her.

Holy fuck! You couldn't even close
your eyes to kiss her.

You close your eyes, you feel sick.
You get the spins.

But I'm all right, man.
I'm not gonna throw up in your taxi.

It has leather seat covers, though.


I held my beer against the seat
for a sec, nothing much.

Rio de Janeiro!

Fuck me!

I vote for Botafogo.

Why are you pulling up here?

- Get out.
- C'mon, man!

What's up with you?

- Pay the ride.
- Are you leaving us here?

Is it about money?

- Come on out.
- Why are you so aggressive?

- Enough! Get out.
- Chill out, man!

If it's about money, we got cash.

It says R$ 9 there.

- Calm down, I'm still in here.
- Get out.

You don't know
who you're talking to, buddy.

- Get out.
- Are you kicking me out?

- He'll pay!
- Do it now, R$ 9.

R$ 9, pay up.


Here's your money, buddy.

- Don't fuckin' spit on it!
- Easy there!

Don't fuckin' spit on it!

I'm gonna spit in your face,


Take it easy, dude.
Your money's here, look.


- You don't want it?

You don't?

You're fucking with me in my taxi
at 6 in the morning!

- Fuck you!
- Get outta here!

He lost his shit.

You're paid to serve us!

How about my change?


What's wrong with you?

Go to hell.

Your attention, please.
Diogo the mechanic,

please answer the phone in your area.

Here you are.

Good morning, Lívia.

It's Paulo.

I'm calling to know
what time you're coming back

from your parents' place.

What day?

I want to pick my son up
at the airport.

Let me know
when you have the details.

Also, I'm gonna deposit
Mateus' support money this month.

So let me know, I wanna see him.

Talk to you later.

There's going be a rise
in gas and diesel prices

at Brazilian refineries
as of this Friday.

Gas is going to rise

by 4.3%.

And diesel, by 2.2%.

- What's wrong?
- Nothing.

- Elías is about to call me.
- Now?

- It'll only be a minute.
- At this very moment?

No longer than a minute.
I need to speak to him.

We're in the red, Graciela.

We're in the red,
we're hugely overdrawn.

- Can't you talk to him tomorrow?
- Listen.

In the red?
What exactly does that mean?

When did I last sell
an orthopedic implant?

When was the last time
that I sold an orthopedic...

or a dental implant?

Chinese ones cost 2.20 pesos.

You know it, I had to sell the boat.

Do you really have to talk to him now?

Yeah, sure.

- Just a second.
- Sure.

Hey. Listen.

Cover me first thing tomorrow.

I don't care how,
you promised you'd do it if necessary.

We'll sort it out later.
Promise me you'll do it.

I'm begging you, Elías.
Will you do it?

Thank you so much!
I really appreciate it.

I'm sorry.

Look how gorgeous.

Come on out.

Excuse me.

Could you take a picture of us two?

Of course.

Just press there.

Get the sight behind us.

Make sure the sight is in it.


Is it gone?

- Has it closed?
- It has.

- There, push the white button.
- Sure.

Get Sugarloaf Mountain
in the background.

Let him do it.

OK, any way you want.

Your memory card is...

- It's OK, let's just go.
- Later then.

If you like,
I can do it with my cellphone.

- No, it's OK.
- We'll come back later.


If you trusted me,
you'd have told me at once.

- I couldn't.
- Because you don't trust me.

- Trust is a mutual thing.
- I had to sort it out quickly.

I didn't want to worry you.
You'd have cancelled the trip.

You'd have gotten scared.

- Now we're here, and it's sorted.
- Is it?

It is! The overdraft has been covered,
we'll see about the rest later.

We'll get back the boat,

the beach house
and everything we deserve.

I wish I could get
something else back.

A crash with a victim

here in Cachambi.

In front of Pizzeria Dellano,

going towards Madureira.

A car and a motorbike crashed.


To Vila Isabel, please.
Silva Pinto St.

- Near 28 September St?
- Yes.

Is that your son?


He was 7 in this picture.

Now he's 10.

He's 10 now?

Same age as my goddaughter.

- Do you have any children?
- No.

Only my goddaughter.


It must difficult to work nights
when you have a child.

I prefer it actually.

Less traffic on the roads,
it's cooler.

Were you visiting someone in hospital?

No, I work there.

Are you a doctor?

I'm a nurse.

It's that building over there
past those cars.

On the left.

Just pull up anywhere you can.

How much?

Let me check.

R$ 10.

I have change.

Here you are, R$ 10.


Thank you.

I'll give you my number
in case you need a taxi.

I'm always working around this time.

I usually get a lift home,
but it can come in handy.

- What's your name?
- Paulo.

I have a pen here somewhere.

Here it is.

- Sorry I don't have a card.
- That's all right.

- Thanks, Paulo.
- You're welcome.

- Good night and good luck.
- Thanks, good night.

Go to Presidente Vargas Avenue,
central lane.

Joaquim Palhares St, Rio de Janeiro.

Question, is Presidente Vargas closed
going downtown?

It is, isn't it?

Reaching Central Station
is gonna be a nightmare.

Fake news can
have devastating consequences.

This type of misinformation
that spreads quickly on social media

can change the results of elections,

and even claim lives,
in extreme cases.


As soon as I get there, I'll call you.

But no need to worry,
we'll be celebrating tomorrow.

I mean, it was really tense.
It was insane.

They let everyone in...

Hold on a second.

I'm going to Prudente de Moraes St,
the Country Club in Ipanema.

You've made a lot of money, man.

So have I, of course.

Sure, man.
I also deserve my share.

I also deserve my share!

In 1.9 km,

turn right at access number 4.

It's a cultural center.

Whatever, some cultural place.

Say, five or six blockbusters
and that's it.

Some big theaters, you see?

No worries, I'm with you guys.

I'm with you guys, leave it to me.

No, it won't.

You must think positive.

Of course,
we're gonna redevelop the whole place.

It's about rehabilitating.

Rehabilitating is key.

Who on earth
wants those people there?

Who wants them there?


I think it's gonna get ugly,
just being realistic.

In about ten days, taxis are gone.

Listen, Felipe,
I don't think taxis will be gone.


It's gonna get really tough!
That's for sure.


what each person learned
from his or her parents

leads to failure.

Having everything planned ahead
leads to failure.

Knowing everything you're going to do

not only this Christmas and New Year's

but also for years to come.

Anything that doesn't introduce novelty
leads to failure,

anything that
doesn't involve discovery.

Discovering is about unveiling
what is covered.

And what is covered?
The mystery of life.

If they both manage, together, to...

Mateus, my son,

is everything OK with you?

How's the holiday
at your grandparents'?

Are you happy?

Are you having a good time?

You been going to the beach?

Right now, your dad is driving a taxi.

I imagine you'd be happy
to be here with me.

Your dad loves you.

I miss you.

Traffic is flowing so well
I can't believe it.

I left Icaraí at 7:50,
guess where I am now.

Already in Irajá.

Since I've been using
Google Translate,

I've had Japanese passengers.

Some of them speak English, though.

I've even had some guys from Iran,

they speak Persian.

This is the best weather.
Rainy weather.

There's no beating it. One day,
I'll live in a freezing cold city.

In cold weather cities,

people are classier,
they wear nicer clothes.

I think it's nicer.


Yes, I remember you.

I am free.

I can come right now.
Are you already done?

Be right there.

- How's it going?
- Fine.

Where are you going?

I'm going home.
Do you remember where it is?

- I'll direct you.
- I remember.

Same route. How are you?

I'm fine.

How about you?

I'm good. The usual.

Are you still working a lot longer?
What's your plan?

- What time did you start?
- I started at 6.

- So you're still...
- I'm working late tonight.

Straight A's in style and tone

You are the nice scent of wood
from my guitar

You are the Penha Church festival
São Cristóvão Market

You are Pedra do Sal

You are Troupe Intrépida
Guadalupe Arena

Leme and Pontal beaches

Don't let me down

You are the song
I have finally been able to write

You are my favela
You are a madhouse

Vila Isabel neighborhood

You are Estácio Square
The cove of Copacabana

Everything Rio has given me

My samba steps

My Candomblé house

The hand that caresses me

Glória on my hilltop

Everything for the heart
of a Brazilian man

Hacker attacks have shut down
the IT systems

of several public bodies
in the country.

Over 45,000 cyberattacks
have been perpetrated in 74 countries.

Rio's Public Prosecutor's Office
has taken precautionary measures

to secure its IT systems.

You work the whole day,
then you pay the car rent...

You're left with R$ 20 to take home.

You have to pay the car owner.
What do you do?

I often go home with no money at all.

'Cause I need to pay the taxi rent.

My wife says we're broke,
I must work on the weekend.

Right, that's the way it is.

You got a rent to pay,
you got three kids.

How do you manage?

When's your day off?

There's no day off.

You sleep in the car.

Your wife thinks you're fooling around.

At night you're on your own, man.

Anything can happen.

You're on your own.

At night it's rough.

An old chap who drives by day
can't handle nights.

It's a whole other story.

You must take a blue pill
before starting to hold out 12 hours.

- You sell them or what?
- The pace is...

How do you mean?
Viagra before going to work?

Sure. To hold out, dude.

You've been doing this for 20 years,
you need Viagra!

Don't worry, buddy,
you'll get there yourself.

You're laughing now,
but you'll get there.

It's even worse for rogue cabs.

You're laughing now 'cause you're young,
but it won't last forever!


Hey guys.

Latest update on traffic jams,
listen up.

28 September St.

In a complete halt.

Both ways.

What is happening to the city?

OK, it's Friday, but still...

This usually only happens
on Brasil Ave and the Red Line.

And in some areas leaving downtown,
but here...

I can't believe it.

At 9:10pm.


To the bus station.


Hi, sweetheart.

Are you OK, my love?
How's it going?

No, not yet.
I'm nearly at the bus station.

Don't worry.
As soon as I get there, I'll call you.

I love you.

Could you turn up the volume, please?

- I'm sorry about this.
- It's all right.

- I'm sorry.
- We must get out.

Your papers, please.

Go on.

Where are you going?

Hey, a guy just got killed
in the tunnel by Rio Sul Mall.

Talk about a shoot-out.

There's a dead body
on the way towards Copacabana.

One of them
is still bleeding from the ears.

The other one is handcuffed.
There's two of them.

Two in the tunnel.
They ate some lead, those guys did.

The cops fired
like there's no tomorrow.

It's an L200 pick-up truck.

It's riddled with bullets.

That'll teach them!

I'm tired, Paulo.

I sleep but don't feel rested.

I have the feeling I'm always tired.

Yesterday we had three patients
with bullet wounds at the hospital.

They all got there at the same time.

And there weren't
any beds available for them.

Things are really tough over there now.

The number of shooting victims
has risen dramatically.

They keep coming any day,
any time.

And they're victims...

They're people shot at with rifles.

There's this gun called AK-47,

which is also a war weapon.

There are grenade injuries,
bomb injuries...

Yesterday there was girl
who got shot outside her school.

She's 13.

What a country...

Makes me think about my son.

I miss Mateus.

I didn't have a father, he vanished.

My mother brought us up.

There are so many women
raising their children by themselves.

Reminds me of my grandmother.

She was a nurse as well.

Sometimes when I despair
at the hospital,

feeling hopeless,

I think about her
and everything she went through.

Why she did the things she did.

I also miss her a lot.

Missing someone is a good thing.

Or at least it should be.
Only that.

My pain


I can feel it

you sight,

you see me

I'm a blackbird thru the night

take me away from my homeland

I lost my job.

I was in the shit, completely broke.

Lívia, my ex-wife,

had to support the household,
pay the bills,

until I could get my act together.

But things weren't fine in my head.

So we split up.

She went to her parents' place
with Mateus.

I'm already paying child support.

I think I wasn't there for my son.

He's going back to school now.

What are you going to do?

Come here.


Thanks, good night.

Good night.

Thanks, good night.

Good night.


R$ 20. You can collect it
from my colleague. Thanks.


Thank you.

Here at the Tall Glass

you can quench your thirst
while saving your pennies.


I've already deposited
Mateus' support money.

I thought we had sorted things out.

I want to see my son.

Yeah, I can hear you.

Yes, I am.
I'm getting ready to head out.

It's OK, go ahead.

No, just a second.

Go on, tell me.

I see.


Weren't you taking the pill, Karina?

Hello, Paulo.

I saw you deposited the money.

Mateus is fine.

Glad you're finally doing something,
it's been hard for me too.

You can't only show up
when you feel like it.

We discussed it,

we had an agreement,
you didn't stick to it.

I have thought a lot about it
on this trip.

I've talked to my mother.

And I've decided to hire a lawyer.

I want to let you know
that I'm starting legal proceedings

so we can share the expenses fairly,

and all the responsibilities
regarding our son.

Yes, we can talk about it.

But I want you to know this now.

I need your address.

I demand priority.

A category 1 hurricane

is going to hit the coast
in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

I need a full report so I can share it

with all favelas.

It's gonna rain like hell on Sunday.

We're gonna pay for all our sins.

A cyclonic vortex of 994 hPa
over Rio de Janeiro.

It can cause a disaster.

Listen, Paulo,
I had a pregnancy test done at the lab.

My period was late,
so I decided to do the test

and get it off my mind.

Everything is OK, it was negative.

If I was pregnant,
I wouldn't keep the baby.

I don't think there's any room for that
in my life now.

I don't know if I want to be a mother.


I'm gonna fall.

My poor heart.