Fordlandia Malaise is a film about the memory and the present of Fordlandia, the company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rain forest in 1928. His aim was to break the British rubber monopoly and produce this material in Brazil for his car production in the United States. Today, the remains of construction testify to the scale of the failure of this neo-colonialist endeavour that lasted less then a decade. Nowadays, Fordlandia is a space suspended between times (20th and 21st centuries), between utopia and dystopia, between visibility and invisibility: architectural buildings of steel, glass and masonry still remain in use while traces of indigenous life left no marks on the ground. Although Fordlandia is well known due to the short lasting Fordian period, one must not forget the history either before or after. Giving voice to the inhabitants who claim the right to write their own story and reject the ghost town label, Fordlandia Malaise blends together archive imagery, drone footage, tales and narratives, myths and songs.
Susana de Sousa Dias’s cinematic works have been exhibited worldwide at film festivals, art exhibitions and venues such as Berlinale, Viennale, Sarajevo IFF, Torino FF, RIDM Canada, Visions du Réel, It’s all True (São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro), Documenta 14 (Keimena film program), PHotoEspaña, Pacific Film Archive, Harvard Film Archive, Museum of Contemporary Art of Ceará (Brasil), CAM Gulbenkian, National Museum of Contemporary Art (Lisbon), Arsenal Institut für film und videokunst, Centre Pompidou, ICA London, La Colonie (Paris), etc. She has received several awards, among them the Grand Prix Cinéma du Réel and the FIPRESCI award (DokLeipzig) for her film 48. She was guest artist at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, New York. She was co-Director of the International Film Festival Doclisboa in 2012 and 2013 opening up new sections as Cinema of Urgency and Passages (Documentary & Contemporary Art). She has a PhD in Fine Arts /Video and teaches at the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Lisbon