Skin of Glass
 
 
 Skin of Glass
 

A FILM BY DENISE ZMEKHOL

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SKIN OF GLASS is the story of São Paulo’s largest vertical favela [slum]—a 25-story office tower that is a treasure of mid-20th century architecture, and my late father’s masterpiece. The film follows my journey to discover my father’s threatened legacy as an artist, as I confront the imminent possibility of the building’s destruction or irreparable decay.

 
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This personal search forces me to face the brutal reality of a global crisis: one in six people in the world are squatters. These are the cities of the future, the cities of tomorrow. I am accompanied on my journey by people with a passionate connection to my father’s work and the fate of the building. I film several of these characters over the course of a year, including city officials who see the building as a threat to public safety, occupation leaders fighting to protect the rights of squatters, residents of the building, and scholars of architecture arguing for preservation. Through their stories, we come to understand the symbolic importance of the building as a reflection of Brazil’s political and economic turmoil over the last half century.

 
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