Mature Audiences Only

Skype Q&A with filmmaker Marcelo Gomes follows the screening

Fresh from medical school, Verônica (Hermila Guedes) is given a residency at a busy Recife hospital. What promises to be a fulfilling new career fails to provide the satisfaction and sense of purpose she had envisioned. As her patients come and go, all seemingly afflicted with psychosomatic maladies or physical manifestations of melancholy, Verônica’s mind flees to her own, unexplained ailment. With her life seemingly falling into place both professionally and emotionally, Verônica cannot seem to shake the numbing disaffection she feels for everyone and everything, excepting the aging father she adores. 

This introspective, highly sensual character study from Brazil’s Marcelo Gomes portrays a woman at a crossroads. Diagnosing her own existential condition by recording symptoms on a Dictaphone, Once Upon a Time Was I, Verônica meditates on the meaning of fulfillment. Hoping to diminish her existential dilemma, Verônica responds by seeking solace through sexual pleasures. Through intimate and subtle suggestion, Gomes suggests that the key to contentment need not be so unattainable.

Marcelo Gomes
Portuguese with English subtitles
Running Time
91 minutes