While filming in a small town in the southwest of Brazil, director Julia Murat stumbled upon a strange fact: the local cemetery had closed, and when the inhabitants died, their bodies had to be sent on a seven-hour boat ride to another city for burial. Combining her documentary work on the province of Mato Grosso—once the richest region in Brazil, now a decadent shell of its past glory—with this stranger-than-fiction story of the cemetery, Murat wrote and filmed Found Memories, a haunting tale in the magic realist tradition.
Set in the fictional ghost town of Jotuomba, Found Memories tells the story of Madalena, an elderly woman who is lost in the past, writing letters everyday to her long-dead husband. Like the other 10 elderly survivors of the village, Madalena’s life is an uninterrupted routine until the day that Rita, a young photographer, arrives. Rita builds a bond with Madalena, becoming the bridge between past and present, vision and memory, and lost and found.
Born in 1979 Rio de Janeiro, Julia Murat graduated university in graphic design and at the Darcy Ribeiro film school as a screenwriter. She has made short films, experimental videos, commercials, and video installations. Her feature-length documentary Dia dos Pais premiered at Cinéma du Reel in 2008. She also has extensive experience working as an editor, assistant director, and camera assistant. Found Memories is her first-feature length fiction film.