While a group of high school seniors from an impoverished area of Brazil prepare for an exam that can change the course of their lives, a journey of anxiety and personal drama unfolds before the camera.

  • João Jardim
  • João Jardim
  • João Jardim
  • Dudú Miranda
  • João Atala
  • Gabriela Weeks
    Executive Producer
  • Fernanda Rondon
  • Marcos Cantanhede
  • Alessandro Larocca
    Sound Editing & Mixing
  • Eduardo Virmond Lima
    Sound Editing & Mixing
  • Doc & Rio Festival Agency
    Festival Agent
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Atravessa a Vida
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Youth, Education, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, School
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 22 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    September 26, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • It's All True Documentary Film Festival
    Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
    September 26, 2020
    National Premiere
  • Malaga Film Festival
    June 5, 2021
    International Premiere
  • Santos Film Festival
    Santos, Sao Paulo
    March 16, 2021
Director Biography - João Jardim

With an eye for detail and commitment for social justice, João Jardim is one of the most acclaimed directors of his generation in Brazil. After winning the Best First-Time Filmmaker Award for his documentary "Janela da Alma" (2001) in the prestigious Gramado Film Festival, Jardim has made a prolific career directing both nonfiction and fiction for the big screen. "Waste Land" (2010), which he co-directed in the world's largest garbage dump, is the only Brazilian documentary nominated for an Academy Award. It has been screened in over 30 festivals, winning merits such as the Audience Award at the Panorama in Berlin and at Sundance. His first fiction film "Getúlio" (2014), about the Brazilian president who comitted suicide, was a box-office hit in Brazil with over 500 thousand viewers. Additionally, Jardim frequently directs docu-series for Grupo Globo, Brazil's major broadcaster. Currently, he is working on "Crossroads", his second film about the education system in Brazil.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Acclaimed filmmaker João Jardim plunged into a high school in Brazil's impoverished northeast to accompany a group of seniors during the final stretch before the highly competitive National Exam: a one-way ticket for public universities. The small school of around one thousand students is a microcosm of the nearly-failed Brazilian public education system, where pupils who frequently lack adequate academic resources undergo extreme pressure from their families and teachers to do well on this one exam that will define their futures. In parallel with following the student's exhaustive marathon towards D-Day, the film unveils resilient characters who are coming of age and shaping their worldviews about internationally relevant topics such as abortion, death penalty and the legacy of dictatorships. Crossroads, a vérité documentary film, pays homage to Frederick Wiseman's legendary "High School" by profiling the Brazilian youth through its gestures, anxieties and joys.