Brazil is an immense country with a population of more than 200 million inhabitants. More than 50% of the Brazilian population identifies as black or brown.
Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. By the time it was abolished in 1888, after years of campaigning by Emperor Pedro II, an estimated four million Africans had been imported from Africa to Brazil to work as slaves, representing 40% of the total enslaved African population in the Americas.
Today, Afro-Brazilians, on average, earn just 55% of the monthly income of white Brazilians—1.531 Brazilian real ($472) compared with 2.757 Brazilian real ($850) for whites, according to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).
Politically, the country experienced successive governments that strengthened the industrial and agricultural growth of the country, but Brazil has a long history of authoritarian regimes. The country was marked by the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1930 – 1945) followed by a democratic regime starting in 1945 which ended when the military took over. The military dictatorship – which lasted from April 1964 to March 1985 – was a terrible period for the country. A civilian government was restored in 1985. However, retired military officer Jair Bolsonaro who took office as the new president on 1 January 2019 is bringing back Brazil to its authoritarian tendencies at the expense of people of color, the LGBTQ community, the young and the environment.
The films in ADIFF 2019’s Brazil Program present the work of filmmakers who have paid attention to various aspects of life and resistance in Brazil over several centuries. Quilombo by Carlos Diegues, a classic epic drama set in Brazil in the 1640s, celebrates African resistance against slavery. Abolicao / Abolition by Zozimo Bulbul (1988) investigates the state of affairs for Afro-Brazilians 100 years after the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Marighella by Wagner Moura, set in 1969, is a new epic action drama based on the life of Afro-Brazilian politician and guerrilla fighter Carlos Marighella.
Three other films explore the state of affairs in Brazil today. Your Turn / Espero tua (re)volta by Eliza Capai and Renato Manganello follows young people fighting against injustice in Brazilian schools and streets today; Blackn3ss by Diego Paulino is an afro-futurist exploration of blackness and queerness in Brazil, and Baobab Flowers by Gabriela Watson-Burkett is a documentary that explores education inequality as a global issue in black communities.
Maria Bethania: Music is Perfume offers a portrait of Maria Bethânia, sister of Caetano Veloso, whose performances rooted in Brazil’s cultural traditions have brought her a massive and faithful audience over the decades.
Join us for ADIFF’s Spotlight on Brazil Day at Cinema Village on Sunday, Dec. 8 for an entire day of screenings and discussions about Brazil yesterday and today and check the program for repeat screenings of some of the films during the festival.
Aboliçao is a startling look at the racial situation of Black Brazilians in contemporary Brazil. The director asks the following question to Black Brazilians from diverse walks of life — musicians,
After the slave revolt of 1641, groups of enslaved black Brazilians escaped to mountainous jungle strongholds where they formed self-governing communities.
Between melanin and far away planets, Blackn3ss is a journey into the lives of Sao Paulo Black youth. An exploration of blackness, queerness and spatial aspirations for the children of the Diaspora.
Baobab Flowers is a documentary that explores education inequality as a global issue in black communities. It shows the stories of two educators, leaders and mothers: Priscila in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Nyanza, in Philadelphia,
When Brazil’s economic and social crisis deepened in the last decade, students protested and occupied hundreds of schools, demanding better public education and the end of austerity measures.
Marighella is a new Brazilian action drama set in 1969 based on the life of Afro-Brazilian politician and guerilla fighter Carlos Marighella.
Documentary about Brazilian singing star Maria Bethânia and her 40-year-old career. The film features her concerts and her family, including her famous brother, composer/singer Caetano Veloso.
Sun Dec 8