“A Emancipação de Mimi”: short film by Marcelo Pereira reflects on veneration

The short film A Emancipação de Mimi by Marcelo Pereira, a project supported by Filmaporto’s Pascaud Scholarship, has recently finished shooting in Porto. The film draws a parallel between religious cults and the cult of celebrity.

The narrative follows Miguel, a nine year old student at a Catholic school and fan of the pop star Mariah Carey. Encouraged by the nuns, the boy takes to the streets of the city to sell calendars featuring the image of Our Lady of Fátima. When he finds out from his schoolmates that he won’t get to keep the profits from the sales, he takes steps to avert the situation.

“The film speaks to our relationship with deified figures, be it in popular culture, religion or pop music, and about these two elusive women: Our Lady of Fátima and Mariah Carey”, explains Marcelo Pereira. “I realised that, through the medium of film, I could trace a parallel between these two female figures. By placing them opposite each other on this imagistic plane, I could address the reasons why we feel this necessity to venerate certain people. Perhaps there isn’t much difference between a religious fanatic and a fan of a particular singer,” he adds.

The film — lightly autobiographical, inspired by the director’s memories of being a student at a Catholic school in the suburbs of Porto — bears a title that draws a link between Mariah Carey’s album The Emancipation of Mimi and the feeling of liberation and disobedience expressed by Miguel.

Shooting took place in Marquês, Viso, Contumil, Sé and Foz, with a team made up of professionals from Porto, including technicians, actors from Agente a Norte and students from balleteatro.

A Emancipação de Mimi is the first film by Marcelo Pereira made outside of the context of film school. Shot on film, the work is currently in post-production and scheduled for completion in September.