Shine Your Eyes (2020) poster

Shine Your Eyes (2020)

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1h 01 min

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Amadi, a musician from Lagos, Nigeria, arrives in São Paulo, Brazil, with a mission: to locate his brother, Ikenna, who has recently broken all ties with their family - becoming, as the Igbo say, "lost in transition" - and bring him back to Nigeria. Amadi, who was always been more laid-back and carefree, in contrast to Ikenna's more objective-driven personality, has to rise to the occasion so as to not frustrate his parents, as well as for self-serving reasons: he is worried that if Ikenna is not found, the older-brother mantle will be left to him, and with it, the responsibility to provide for their family. In Brazil Amadi follows the faint footsteps left by Ikenna in this foreign urban landscape: he learns that his brother is not the distinguished Mathematics professor he was made out to be, but actually has contrived an intricate and nearly- delusional series of schemes to accumulate wealth in Brazil, which includes, among other things, the supposed discovery of the statistical principles behind horse-race gambling. Slowly, Amadi closes in his brother, always finding himself one step behind, having to confront the remnants of his presence in progressively more ominous underworld surroundings. Amadi's wonderment with this foreign land, as well as the bitter feelings he harbors towards his brother for always being the chosen one, is focused on Emília, Ikenna's Brazilian ex-lover who provides a tempting excuse for Amadi to ignore his assignment and start imagining a life in this weird alien land. Finally, when confronted with a concrete possibility of actually meeting his now dejected sibling, Amadi is forced to choose between his faithfulness to his family abroad or the yearning to start a new life in São Paulo.