In 2013 the military police of the Brazilian Federal District initiated a large operation against drug traffic in the peripheral city of Ceilândia, dismantling a series of illegal networks and arresting sixteen men. A year later, the women took over the streets. Rapidly they established their own field of action, imposing other codes, reorganizing labor relations, transforming the modes of production of a Brazilian periphery. Their disputes for economic, symbolic and territorial power slowly turn into a war. They claim a space for the peripheral female body, and its own codes of action. They are the map for a new territory.
Mato seco em chamas is a film where women take over a city, imposing the image and imaginary projected by their own bodies. It’s a film where marginalized spaces become central zones of action, where imagined fables turn into real political possibilities, where female gas station workers become oil explorers, and where the peripheral Ceilândia, historically deserted as the unwanted child of Brasília’s utopian modernist dream, claims its site as the symbolic capital of the country. It’s the film of a reconquered city, reclaimed, blazing, a flaming city that burns from within.