‘My Brother’, by Alana Simões, takes an intimate look at adoption

The Brazilian director, Alana Simões

10/20/2018.- The DOC. Spain section of the festival presented the documentary My Brother, a project which took Brazilian director Alana Simões a decade to create. Based on more than 150 hours of film, her project depicts the relationship and development of the bond between two siblings adopted in Russia at different times.

Gabriela, a single mother, adopts Alexey. Several years later, they both decide to return to Siberia to adopt Mateo. For 9 years, the Brazilian director followed the lives of the family with her camera in hand, accompanied by photographer Daniela Cajías.

The first part of the film shows images filmed by Pedro Ruigómez, Gabriela’s brother. The director used this material to enhance the intimacy of the film and to recount the process of adoption from another perspective.

Although they had to stop filming on one occasion due to the stress and discomfort for the family of sharing their private activities 24 hours a day, the team is satisfied with the result and the “coherent selection of sequences”, as Alana Simões explained to the audience filling the room at Broadway Cinemas.

The director revealed an anecdote from a sequence in the documentary, in which Mateo is singing in a car: “The group The Ills waived copyright because the producer had recently gone through the adoption process”.

At its first screening in Spain, My Brother was attended by Alexey and Mateo Ruigómez, the two boys who appear in the documentary, accompanied by the director, director of photography, their mother and their uncle.

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