The feelings and sensations provoked by “Predestinado: Arigó e o Espírito do Dr. Fritz” pushed the boundaries of the recording set. Danton Mello, who gives life to the medium protagonist of the film, which opens in theaters today, proved this when he did the first reading of the script.
“I had a crying fit before page ten!” I wondered why he came to me. I didn’t believe it, I didn’t have access to spirituality — says the actor, who still gets emotional when talking about his work: — I stopped being an atheist. Impossible to make a character like that and come out the same way.
Gustavo Fernandez, the director, also had very sensitive experiences even before the work began. When he was returning from a visit to the film’s filming locations, in Minas Gerais, he had an accident on the road, an experience that has marked him to this day.
— On my way back from Minas, I remembered that Arigó died in a car accident and I thought: “What a time to think about that!” — He recalls, detailing: — It was raining and I got oil on the runway. I flipped and went down a mountain, with the door on my side dragging on the ground. Luckily, I had an armored car and nothing happened to me. But when I got home, I told my wife that I wouldn’t do this movie.
Gustavo, who had no relationship with spirituality, reveals that he wandered among acquaintances and spiritist centers trying to understand if the episode was a sign to give up the project. But he heard just the opposite:
— “Right now you have to do it”.
In the film, which tells the story of the first medium to embody the spirit of the German doctor Dr. Fritz, Danton is a man who was both a target of criticism and a hope for a cure for those who believed in spiritual surgery between the 50’s and 70’s.
The director emphasizes that the idea is not to portray Arigó as a myth beyond questioning. And the result of that is a story that contemplates an audience that goes beyond those who believe in the doctrine:
— But I think there was a helping hand for the feature to be produced by a person who is not a follower of spiritism. It was a strong experience and it was no wonder. Just thinking about it makes my eyes fill with tears.
In a conversation with Gustavo, Danton also recalled a dramatic moment in the past, when he suffered a plane crash in 1998. On that occasion, he recalled having lived experiences that he considers spiritual, such as someone talking to him in the hospital, but then no one being seen. close by:
— I experienced this right after operating on account of the accident. I told my doctor and he said it was impossible, that I was very weak. Years later, a spiritist friend told me that a spirit of light was on my side. I had this in my head for a long time.
As Arigó provided care without receiving money, it was often his wife Arlete (Juliana Paes) who took care of the family’s livelihood. Unlike Danton and Gustavo, for the actress the spiritist universe was not new:
— I am raised in a spiritist family, this theme is natural for me.
Gustavo even remembers that Juliana’s personal relationship with spirituality was one of the reasons she accepted the role. The invitation was made when the actress finished “A Força do Quero” in 2017.
‘Liberating’, says actress
At 43 years old, the actress points out how interesting it was to play this woman:
— She is simple and older than I am, with a body and an experience that I don’t have. But she was very liberating. I was able to undress my vanity, record scenes with white hair, glasses and accentuated expression marks.
Danton, like his character, is from Minas Gerais and felt at home on the recordings (in 2018). He took the family to Minas and that even helped make an important decision for his eldest daughter, Luisa. The 21-year-old spent ten days with her father on set:
“It was exciting to have you on my side. Today she works in movies and I think those days she spent there watching were a little push to make that decision.