The Jewish Film Institute is proud to present De Castro as our online short for the month of October 2023, which corresponds with Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month. This month’s film, directed by Brazilian-Israeli filmmaker Fernando Silva, highlights the untold story of illegal adoptions between Israel and Brazil, raising complex issues of identity and family in the process. Watch the film below, then read an exclusive JFI interview with the director.
Jewish Film Institute: What conversations do you hope to start with De Castro?
Fernando Silva: A lot of important people were involved in the criminal adoptions, the federal police, airplane companies, hospitals, nurses etc. And unfortunately, it happens until this day. People should know, especially the vulnerable ones, it may happen to them.
As we saw in the documentary, Limor suffered bullying at school for being different and a lot of people said she should not look for answers because it would not be fair to her Israeli family. People should know what they feel and support them as every person in his own journey, even if we don’t understand, because we could not.
JFI: Can you tell us about how you embedded yourself and your crew into the home of Marcia as she and Limor were getting to know each other?
FS: From the first moment, Marcia received us as good friends. She gave us a room in her house, she showed us to the whole city and didn’t want us to leave. Limor didn’t speak Portuguese, so me and Daniel (the cinematographer, from Venezuela) were always together translating between them and we became part of this process, feeling with them all the emotions from the good moments, to the hope and the fear of the DNA results.
JFI: The film ends on an uncertain note. How did you work around not knowing what would happen?
FS: I always hoped to find Limor’s parents, and it was really sad to know the negative results. But that is the reality of most illegal adoptees: They do not find their parents. That is what make the theme so important to be talked about, that is what represented best the reality.
The original plan was to film a happy end, a classic finale, but I was also ready for something different and I knew that it would be good for the final impact and to represent the reality of the adoptees.
About the Filmmaker: Fernando Silva was born in Sao Paulo / Brazil, immigrated to Israel in 2014. In 2019 begging to study cinema and television at Sapir College and in the first year of film school he started the movie De Castro, released in 2022, winning the prize of best edition in the Cinema South Festival Sderot, Semi-finalist in the Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival and Official selection in the MIRA — Latin American Independent Film Festival.
About JFI Online Shorts: JFI Online Shorts features one new short film each month from emerging and established filmmakers. Since 2009, JFI has showcased over 100 online shorts and garnered worldwide views over 2 million on the JFI Youtube channel. Learn more at www.jfi.org.