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Interview: Petra Costa (Elena)

For director Petra Costa, filmmaking is more than just an artistic expression, but an opportunity for intensely personal emotional dissection. With her most recent feature, Elena, Costa put her and her family back through the experience of losing her older sister, Elena, who took her own life after attempting a career in entertainment in the Big Apple back when Costa was just a little girl. Before finally reaching theaters domestically earlier this summer, the film had a successful festival run, beginning at IDFA back in 2012, on to the Brazilia Festival of Brazilian Cinema where it swept both the audience and  jury awards and on through to the 2013 Hot Docs Film Festival where I had sat down with her to discuss how she manages to portray such a tragic personal story with such unabashed artistic conviction. My conversation with Petra can be found below (as well as my review of the film here):

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