This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD ST ANTONY’S COLLEGE, OXFORD OX2
BRAZILIAN POLITICS AND SOCIETY THROUGH FILM a documentary film series in Weeks 2-8, Michaelmas Term 2010 Wednesdays at 17:00, Latin American Centre, 1 Church Walk all are welcome Week 2 (October 20) CAPITAL SINS: AUTHORITARIANISM AND DEMOCRATIZATION Documentary directed by Rachel Field (1993) 55 minutes; in English
This documentary was produced as part of the Americas series shown on PBS in the United States. Filmed in 1991-1992 at a moment of deep pessimism in Brazil, the program reviews Brazilian political and economic history from 1964 to 1990, with heavy emphasis on the unequal development model implemented by the military regime. Features interviews with Lula, Bresser Pereira, Delfim Netto and other major political and cultural figures. Professor Albert Fishlow (Columbia University) was the main academic advisor during the production of this documentary. A valuable introduction to the origins of Brazil’s current democratic regime.
Week 3 (October 27) HERCULES 56 Documentary directed by Silvio Da-Rin (2006) 93 minutes; Portuguese with English subtitles
In 1969, two groups in the armed resistance to the military regime (the MR-8 and the ALN) kidnapped the U.S. ambassador to Brazil, Charles Burke Elbrick. In 2005, director Silvio Da-Rin reunited the surviving participants in the Elbrick kidnapping as well as the political prisoners who were released as a result of their actions (the title refers to the name of the military transport that flew them to freedom in Mexico on 7 September 1969). Cutting from 2005 interviews to archival footage from the 1960s, Da-Rin shows the arrival of the Brazilians in Mexico City (met by Luis Echeverría) and later Havana (met by Fidel Castro). Several of the passengers on Hercules 56 are now leading figures in the Lula government, and they reflect on the meaning of the armed resistance to military rule.
Week 4 (November 3) PEÕES Documentary directed by Eduardo Coutinho (2002) 85 minutes; Portuguese with English subtitles
The revival of Brazilian civil society under military rule is usually dated to the strikes in the “ABC” (the São Paulo industrial belt) in 1979-1980 — the events that catapulted a little-known lathe operator named Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to national attention. Two decades later, in 2002, Eduardo Coutinho interviewed 21 workers who took part in the strikes. Like Entreatos (Week 7), the film was shot during the 30 days preceding Lula’s historic election in 2002, and the two films were shown together in cinemas. Taken together, the two films document a remarkable quarter century which began with wildcat strikes in São Bernardo and ended with the Workers’ Party (PT) in the presidential palace.
Week 5 (November 10) NOTÍCIAS DE UMA GUERRA PARTICULAR Documentary directed by Katia Lund and João Moreira Salles (1999) 55 minutes; Portuguese with English subtitles
Shot in 1998-99 in the favela of Dona Marta in Rio de Janeiro, this groundbreaking documentary examines drug trafficking from the perspectives of everyone involved: the police, the dealers, the residents caught in the crossfire. This film marks the first collaboration of Lund and Moreira Salles with the author Paulo Lins, whose autobiography (City of God) they would turn into an Oscarnominated feature film three years later. A valuable portrayal of the origins and evolution of the Brazilian drug trade and its impact on social and police violence.
Week 6 (November 17) VOCAÇÃO DO PODER Documentary directed by Eduardo Escorel and José Joffily (2005) 110 minutes; Portuguese with English subtitles
Produced in association with the Urban Anthropology Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, this documentary explores the electoral process at the local level. The filmmakers followed six candidates for city council in Rio de Janeiro in the 2004 elections, moving from the party conventions to the campaign to election night itself. The question asked by the film is a simple one: what drives individuals to seek political office? Shot discreetly at close quarters and with no narration, the documentary provides an unparalleled look at how politics really works in Brazil.
Week 7 (November 24) ENTREATOS: LULA A 30 DIAS DO PODER Documentary directed by João Moreira Salles (2004) 117 minutes; Portuguese with English subtitles
An unprecedented behind-the-scenes depiction of a Brazilian presidential race, often compared to D.A. Pennebaker’s classic study of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign (The War Room), but with a more personal focus on the candidate. Moreira Salles was given extraordinary access to Lula in September and October 2002 on the eve of Lula’s historic election victory. The documentary team shot more than 240 hours of digital video in strategy meetings, in debate preparation, on airplanes, at rallies, and in private. The film stands not only as an intimate personal portrait of Lula and as an historical record of the electoral breakthrough of the Brazilian left, but also (in contrast with Eduardo Coutinho’s Peões in Week 4) as a fascinating depiction of the moderation and modernization of the Workers’ Party (PT).
Week 8 (December 1) ARQUITETOS DO PODER Documentary directed by Alessandra Aldé and Vicente Ferraz (2010) 90 minutes; Portuguese with English subtitles
Co-director Alessandra Aldé will be in attendance to introduce her brand-new documentary, an engrossing investigation of the relationship between politics and the media and the evolution of political marketing techniques in recent Brazilian history. Starting with an analysis of campaigns by Getúlio Vargas, Juscelino Kubitschek — the first to use TV — and Jânio Quadros, this film looks at the development of propaganda mechanisms to influence voters, making the candidates perfect their images and communication techniques. Journalists, campaign consultants, and “spin doctors” such as Duda Mendonça, Paulo de Tarso, Ronald de Carvalho, Wlaney Pinheiro, and others comment on several dramatic election campaign moments of 1989, 1994, and 2006, e.g., the famous “selectively edited” debate between candidates Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Fernando Collor de Mello in 1989. After the film, there will be a Q&A session with the director.