Ilha das Flores (Isle of Flowers)


Jorge Furtado’s 1989 short film Ilha das Flores (Isle of Flowers) is, in its simplest reading, a brief history of a single tomato. Such a simplistic reading is of course next to impossible based on the myriad narrative and visual digressions that slowly unveil a much larger history at the center of the film. It is precisely Furtado’s use of these digressions in conjunction with his bricological approach that serve to recount and deconstruct (in a mere 13 minutes) the history of capitalism and its (arguably) inherent inequities.

While this essayistic approach to remixing history is quite different than modifying a single preexisting source, Furtado’s use of disparate media (photos, video, illustrations, etc.) in conjunction with found and original footage effectively recontextualizes and drastically alters the meaning of these elements. The overall effect is a commentary not simply restricted to the primary focus of investigation (one could argue social relations under capitalism) but additionally broadens to include countless comments on a broad array of issues.

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