TUESDAY - Antropofagia: Reinventing Class and Race in Brazilian Cinema
Programmed by: Gabriel Correa
Embracing the writings of Brazilian Modernism pioneer Oswald de Andrade, the Antropofagia ("Cannibalism") movement of the 1920s — sought to devour and assimilate external cultures and influences to forge a uniquely Brazilian expression in the arts within a post-colonial setting. With this series, I wanted to highlight classics and hidden gems of Brazilian cinema that put a certified Brazilian spin on beloved film genres while conveying the changing notions of class and race in the country over a span of more than 6 decades.
From the raw portrayal of life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in the acclaimed City of God to the genre-bending Western The Red Light Bandit, each of these films holds up a mirror to Brazilian society with its rich, multifaceted, and sometimes contradictory history (especially as shown by the irreverent and satirical tale of the titular anti-hero in Macunaíma). Antropofagia cannot only look into the past though, and more recent films such as the imaginative Bacurau and Executive Order cast a critical eye on a near-future Brazil still grappling with its difficult history. Even if you are unfamiliar with the race and class politics presented in these films, you will still find universal themes and relatable characters you will want to root for.
City of God (2002)
Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund · 130m · Digital
City of God needs no introduction. Duo Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund direct this celebrated epic crime film tracing Li'l Dice’s rise in the ranks of the world of crime as he becomes the ruthless drug warlord Li’l Zé (Leandro Firmino). Nominated for four Academy awards, City of God was not met without controversy for its unflinching portrayal of violence in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
Tuesday, January 9th 7:00PM
Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles · 131m · DCP
Welcome to Bacurau. Kleber Mendonça Filho’s award-winning third feature is a fiery Western described as “arthouse meets grindhouse”. After a small town in the Brazilian Sertão literally vanishes from the map, mysterious events soon follow and the townspeople must unite to survive. Featuring Sônia Braga of Kiss of the Spider Woman fame, with Udo Kier as the chilling antagonist.
Tuesday, January 16th 7:00PM
Joaquim Pedro de Andrade · 95m · Digital
Possibly the most anthropophagic film in this series, this adaptation of Mário de Andrade’s 1928 modernist novel is an allegorical and satirical tale of Brazilian identity in all of its contradictions. Unmistakably political, Macunaíma centers around the titular self-centered, lazy, and promiscuous anti-hero (Grande Otelo / Paulo José) as he journeys from the jungle to the big city and back.
Tuesday, January 23rd 7:00PM
The Red Light Bandit (1968)
Rogério Sganzerla · 92m · DCP
The Red Light Bandit is the ultimate gangster movie. Director Rogério Sganzerla’s “Third World Western” follows Jorge (Paulo Villaça) as the titular burglar, doomed to a life of crime and debauchery. This Godard-influenced irreverent gem of Cinema Marginal is an energetic and chaotic look at a morally corrupt São Paulo amid the turmoil of the ‘60s during Brazil’s brutal military dictatorship.
Tuesday, January 30th 7:00PM
The Second Mother (2015)
Anna Muylaert · 112m · DCP
Val is the dedicated live-in maid for an affluent family in São Paulo. Everyone and everything seems to have its place in the house — that is, until the arrival of Val’s estranged daughter Jéssica shakes up the family’s rigid class boundaries. Heartwarming yet socially-conscious, The Second Mother features a tour-de-force performance by lead Regina Casé and is directed by the brilliant Anna Muylaert.
Tuesday, February 13th 7:00PM
Twenty Years Later (1984)
Eduardo Coutinho · 119m · Digital
Sponsored by the Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression.
One of Brazil’s most prolific documentarists, Eduardo Coutinho set out to retell the life and death of farm workers’ leader João Pedro Teixeira only to have the project interrupted by the 1964 coup d’etat. In Twenty Years Later, he returns to his subjects, weaving together footage from the unfinished project with interviews that reveal the resilience of those fighting injustice on Brazilian plantations.
Tuesday, February 20th 7:00PM
Executive Order (2020) // Soul in the Eye (1973)
Lázaro Ramos // Zózimo Bulbul · 102m // 11m · Digital
Set in a near-future Brazil, this dystopian drama is a must-see! Executive Order follows couple Antônio (played by Harry Potter’s Alfred Enoch) and Capitu (telenovela superstar Taís Araújo) as they deal with the consequences of the latest government policy targeting all Afro-Brazilians. Preceded by Zózimo Bulbul’s avant-garde short Soul in the Eye, the very first work of Black Brazilian Cinema.