Swing and Sway

(Vai e vem)
Fernanda Pessoa, Chica Barbosa | Documentary, Experimental

2022 | 82 minutes | United States, Brazil

Against the backdrop of a tumultuous 2020 marked by pandemics, elections, and social upheavals, the two friends embark on a thought-provoking exploration of feminist cinematic expression and the female experience.


A groundbreaking film that transcends borders and genres. Directed by Fernanda Pessoa in Brazil and Chica Barbosa in the US, this mesmerizing documentary unfolds as a year-long exchange of video letters inspired by pioneering women experimental filmmakers. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous 2020 marked by pandemics, elections, and social upheavals, the two friends embark on a thought-provoking exploration of feminist cinematic expression and the female experience.

As they navigate their virtual correspondence, Pessoa and Barbosa weave together a tapestry of visual essays that blend introspection, activism, and artistic experimentation. Drawing inspiration from luminaries such as Marie Menken, Yvonne Rainer, Chick Strand, Cheryl Dunye, and Ximena Cuevas, 'Swing and Sway' pays homage to sixteen renowned experimental film artists, showcasing a dazzling array of stylistic techniques and narrative approaches. From black and white to color, analog to digital, and CGI to stop motion, the film seamlessly integrates diverse visual elements to create a rich and immersive viewing experience.

Amidst their creative exploration, Pessoa and Barbosa grapple with personal and political realities, confronting issues of immigration, political disenfranchisement, and social justice. Against the backdrop of political events and cultural shifts, they confront pressing questions about progress, activism, and the power of art to effect change.

A poignant reflection on friendship, creativity, and the enduring legacy of women in film, “Swing and Sway” offers a compelling testament to the transformative power of cinema. Perfect for educators and cinephiles alike, this captivating documentary invites viewers to join a dance of resistance and discovery, where every frame is a testament to the enduring spirit of human connection and artistic expression.



“It is a fascinating and engaging film experiment” – Business Doc Europe

Main credits

Pessoa, Fernanda (film director)
Pessoa, Fernanda (screenwriter)
Barbosa, Chica (film director)
Barbosa, Chica (screenwriter)
Luz, Jessica (film producer)
Wink, Paola (film producer)

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IndieCork Film Festival - Louis Marcus Documentary Award; Sheffield Doc/Fest; RIDM Montreal; DokLeipzig; Kassel Dokfest; Malaga International Film Festival; Toulouse Latin American Film Festival; Outgaze Film Festiva

DIRECTOR: Fernanda Pessoa, Chica Barbosa

NATIONALITY: United States, Brazil

YEAR: 2022

GENRE: Documentary, Experimental

LANGUAGE: English; Portuguese; Spanish

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adult



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