Netflix’s Beyond the Universe: Is the Movie Rooted in Reality?

Netflix’s ‘Beyond the Universe‘ is a Brazilian film originally titled ‘Depois do Universo.’ Directed by Diego Freitas, the story centers on Nina (Giulia Be), an extraordinarily talented pianist who suffers from lupus. When she decides to get a kidney transplant, her paths cross with a doctor named Gabriel (Henrique Zaga), and the two form a special connection. The romance drama film chronicles how their relationship gives Nina a new zest for life, leading her to pursue her musical dream.

The film showcases how a medical condition can affect people and shape a bleak outlook on life. However, it also sheds light on ideas of hope, love, the will to live on, and more. Although the film portrays interpersonal relationships in a pleasant and heartwarming way, there are brief parts that demonstrate how an illness can create distance between people. All these facets of the film are quite relatable, and you might wonder if the film and its characters are based on a true story. Let’s find out.

Beyond the Universe: A Tribute to the Director’s Mother

‘Beyond the Universe’ is likely inspired by Diego Freitas’ late mother, Durvalina, who passed away in May 2022, shortly after the release of Diego’s first feature film, ‘O Segredo de Davi.’ In 2019, Diego had the vision for the story, which he described as an idea “about hope, about life, death… but most of all it was about affection.” The film’s screenplay, co-written by Diego Freitas and Ana Reber in collaboration with Rodrigo Azevedo and João Côrtes, comes from an emotional place. It portrays how Nina waits in the queue for her kidney transplant and the things she endures during this period.

In an interview, lead actress Giulia Be mentioned how the director made the film for his mother, who, like Nina, had to wait in the transplant queue. She went on to say that the team aimed to bring that experience onto the screen in the most authentic way possible. Giulia Be even met with several patients and women to understand their stories and embody the essence of what they went through in her character Nina.

In the film, Nina’s character arc is pretty wholesome. At the film’s beginning, Nina is cynical and tries not to pursue her dream of becoming a pianist because of her condition. However, a chance encounter with Gabriel, one of the doctors taking care of her, transforms her perception of life. Gabriel nudges Nina toward her dream, and she finds a new lease on life. However, just when she begins to do so, life throws another curveball at her.

The back-and-forth between hope and despair forms the movie’s core. Besides this, the film carries several other themes, such as the constant pursuit of happiness and the process of combating grief. The characters’ emotions, experiences, and predicaments resonate with the audience; thus, it is understandable why many feel the narrative is based on true events. To reiterate, the director leveraged a few experiences of his life to fuel the story of ‘Beyond the Universe’ and create a heartfelt and optimistic tale.

Read More: Where Was Beyond the Universe Filmed?