In Bahia, Brazil, generations of impoverished families live in palafitas, a vast network of shacks built on stilts above a rising tide of garbage over the ocean bay. When the government threatens to reclaim the bay in the name of ecological restoration, hundreds of families are about to lose their homes. Filmed over 6 years, BAY OF ALL SAINTS is a lyrical portrait of three single-mothers living in the water slums during this crisis. Geni, AKA ‘Miss Mayor’, a pizza parlor manager rapidly becomes a community organizer; Jesus, a laundry-washer, starts to look beyond her dreams of a Prince Charming who never comes; Dona Maria, a trash-picker, once freed from domestic servitude, ventures outside the palafitas as she raises her 16 children and grandchildren on the ocean bay. Their individual stories of poverty unfold through visits from Norato, their big-hearted refrigerator repairman, born and raised in the palafitas. He bears witness, as each family is promised a new home in governmental housing, without knowing when, or if this promise will ever be kept. BAY OF ALL SAINTS offers a glimpse at the complexities of urban poverty; the sacrifices these women make for their children’s survival and the demands of life on the bay. Ultimately, the State’s urban development project—through its tumult and blunders—compels these women to rise up and fight for their future.
Annie first came to the water slums of Bahia, Brazil in 1999 to work with a grassroots arts and education organization called GRUCON. She worked and resided in this neighborhood for 18-months, learned portuguese and co-directed a short documentary to support GRUCON’s work. Later she joined Just Media as Associate Producer, Translator, Additional Camera and Assistant Editor on Daniel Junge’s THEY KILLED SISTER DOROTHY, a feature-length documentary that follows the aftermath of a Catholic nun’s assassination in the Brazilian Amazon (HBO Films, Winner SXSW Film Festival 2008, nominated for National Emmy 2010). Annie also worked as Assistant Editor and Production Coordinator on other Just Media’s films: THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER (HBO Films, nominated for an Academy Award 2010); IRON LADIES OF LIBERIA (Toronto Film Festival 2007, broadcast on PBS and BBC). Currently she works as an independent Producer/Editor in Denver. She began shooting BAY OF ALL SAINTS at the end of 2004 when she learned of the State of Bahia’s controversial plans to demolish the last of the water slums, home to many of the woman she had befriended while living in the slum.