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December 26–31, 2015

Chicago Premiere

Hard Labor
(Trabalhar Cansa)

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Film still: Hard Labor Film still: Hard Labor
Golden Camera &
Un Certain Regard
Cannes Film Fest
Best Actress
Lima Latin American
Film Fest
"A smart, sneaky little shocker whose subtexts add depth to its haunted-house framework"
  —Film Journal International
"The film's brittle and quiet, on occasion touched with the techniques of horror... It's also trenchant, stinging, and acted with great frumping subtlety"
  —Village Voice
"The filmmakers, largely forgoing a soundtrack, skillfully manipulate stillness, silence and anomie to unsettling effect—at times evoking the ambient dread and decay of, say, Roman Polanski's Repulsion"
  —New York Times

Young housewife Helena has always dreamed of opening her own business. When a fully-furnished vacant space opens up, she decides to finally fulfill this dream by opening a neighborhood grocery store. On the same day she signs the lease to the shop, her husband Otávio is suddenly fired from his job as an insurance executive, leaving Helena to support her husband and daughter alone.

The role reversal at home threatens to overturn the established structure of her domestic universe and ultimately begins to affect her personal relationship with her family. As pressure surmounts, Helena's temper flares and catapults her into a psychological breakdown. When the brick walls of her building start to crumble, groceries disappear, and a mysterious black substance begins creeping through the tiles of her floor, Hard Labor takes a dark and suspenseful turn. Is it supernatural, or is it the manifestation of Helena's paranoia and disintegrating psyche?

A subtle neo-noir thriller wrapped in unconventional horror elements, Hard Labor is a disturbing approach to an otherwise common crisis of a middle class family struggling to make it in a capitalist society.

Directed by Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas, 2011, Brazil, 99 mins. In Portugeuse with English subtitles.


  • Sat.. Dec. 26 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun.. Dec. 27 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Dec. 28–31 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation