February 8–9, 2020
Astoria, N.Y. (January 22, 2020) — Throughout Latin America, women struggle to crack the glass ceiling. Yet despite historical prejudice and ultra-conservative backlash, a new generation of Brazilian women have broken through, producing bold, politically engaged, formally adventurous works of cinema. Organized by film critic Ela Bittencourt and co-presented with Cinema Tropical, the Museum of the Moving Image’s screening series Visions of Resistance: Recent Films by Brazilian Women Directors spotlights recent documentary and hybrid films, and those with a particular focus on the lives of black Brazilians. Brought together for the first time, this diverse selection celebrates women as agents of change and artists.
The series runs February 8 and 9, and includes ten films, both feature-length and short works. Ela Bittencourt will introduce all screenings and will moderate a discussion with director Fabiana Assis after a screening of West Park, on February 8. All film descriptions were written by Bittencourt, who provided this overview: “Both Fabiana Assis’s eloquent documentary, West Park, and the collectively produced Tell It to Those Who Say We’ve Been Defeated center on the homeless (sem teto) movement. But while the former does so through a personal narrative of trauma, the latter uses a more distanced approach of coordinated stealth action. A number of films, such as Grace Passô’s Wandering Flesh, Glenda Ninácio and Ary Rosa’s Coffee with Cinnamon, and Everlane Morães’s Pattaki hint at otherworldly realms evocative of Afro-descendant traditions. Others attend closely to the ins-and-outs of social protest, as in Victória Álvares and Quentin Delaroche’s documentary feature, Block, or to the historical black Brazilian communities, as in Amaranta César’s lyrical short, Mangrove. Meanwhile, Cris Lyra’s Quebramar and Juliana Rojas’s The Passage of the Comet address the brutality of women’s lives with a sense of cosmic and mythic wonder. Lastly, in Elena Meirelles and Livia de Paiva’s Tremor Iê the ultra conservative backlash faced by LGBTQ communities and widespread social unrest takes a dystopian turn.”
The full schedule is included below and is posted online at www.movingimage.us/brazilian-women-directors. Tickets for each program are $15 with discounts for seniors, students, and youth / free or discounted ($7 tickets) for Museum members. For more information on membership and to join, visit www.movingimage.us/membership.
‘VISIONS OF RESISTANCE: RECENT FILMS BY BRAZILIAN WOMEN FILMMAKERS’
February 8–9, 2020
All screenings take place at Museum of the Moving Image – Bartos Screening Room, located at 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria, NY 11106. Tickets are available online at movingimage.us/brazilian-women-directors.
All screenings will be introduced by film critic Ela Bittencourt.
Preceded by Tell It to Those Who Say We’ve Been Defeated
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2:00 P.M.
Block. Dirs. Victória Álvares, Quentin Delaroche. 2018, 75 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles. An absorbing look at social unrest in Brazil just months before the 2018 presidential election that saw the ascendancy of ex-army captain and ultra-right politician Jair Bolsonaro. Álvares and Delaroche spend a few intense days within a massive truck driver strike, yet despite this show of evident solidarity, despair makes some participants doubt the democratic process and call for military intervention.
Tell It to Those Who Say We’ve Been Defeated. Dirs. Aiano Bemfica, Camila Bastos, Cris Araújo, Pedro Maia de Brito. 2019, 23 mins. The film follows a landless group as they occupy an abandoned lot under a cover of darkness. The handheld camera and muted audio perfectly capture the tense coordination of bodies that must act in absolute secrecy.
Preceded by the short films Mangrove and Pattaki
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 4:30 P.M.
Wandering Flesh. Dirs. Grace Passô, Ricardo Alves, Jr. 2019, 50 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles. One of Brazil’s most brilliant contemporary dramaturgs and actors, Grace Passô—known for starring in such films as André Novais Oliveira’s Long Way Home and Mauríio Martins and Gabriel Martins’s In the Heart of the World—co-directs with Alves, Jr. a film adaptation of her internationally touring drama, Wandering Flesh. On an empty stage, a disembodied voice speaks of a case of spirit possession, or a reincarnation. Passô acts as the bodily host for the erudite, angry spirit—and slowly, miraculously, conducts the viewer into a world poisoned by arbitrary notions of gender, sex, and race, which end in violence.
Mangrove (Dir. Amaranta Cesar, 2018, 22 mins.) and Pattaki (Dir. Everlane Morães, 2018, 20 mins.) Shot in a traditional quilombo of the descendants of African slaves, Mangrove beautifully captures the affirmative power of ancestry and rural communities, but also the distant pull of city life. Meanwhile the nocturnal Pattaki, which Morães filmed in Cuba, transports us into a dreamlike world permeated by the Yoruba sea spirit, Yemayá (North American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2020).
West Park with Fabiana Assis in person
Preceded by the short film Querbramar
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 7:00 P.M.
West Park. Dir. Fabiana Assis. 2018, 70 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Eronilde lost her partner and was wounded when West Park—an area on the periphery of the capital, Brasilia, that was being occupied by the sem teto (lit. “[those] without a roof”)—was attacked by the military police. Returning to the site, which symbolizes not just government-sanctioned aggression but also her community’s resistance, Eronilde relives her personal trauma while striving to rebuild her confidence in the future. Assis’s powerful documentary mixes first-person testimony with clandestine audio and raw video captured under duress, to reveal a community taken hostage by unfulfilled political promises—a theme that reverberates throughout contemporary Brazil.
Quebramar. Dir. Cris Lyra. 2019, 26 mins. This poignant film follows a group of friends on a beachside vacation where they share stories of discovering their lesbian identity. Firmly rooted in the experiential reality, Quebramar (lit. “breakwater”) nevertheless hints at the dreamy atmosphere of the mythical Lesbos.
Coffee with Cinnamon
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2:15 P.M.
Dirs. Glenda Ninácio, Ary Rosa. 2017, 102 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Widely discussed and praised in Brazil for its compassionate presentation of a black Brazilian middle-class rarely portrayed on the big screen, Coffee with Cinnamon was also the first feature co-directed by a black Brazilian woman (Ninácio). Young Violeta cannot shake off a desire to help her grieving former teacher, while one of her neighbors also suffers an irredeemable loss. Set in Salvador, Bahia, this gentle, multilayered story about a tightly knit neighborhood coming together ranges from understated realism tinged with humor to the edge of horror.
Preceded by the short film The Passage of the Comet
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 4:45 P.M.
Tremor Iê. Dirs. Elena Meirelles, Livia de Paiva. 2019, 88 mins. In Portuguese with English subtitles. A different twist on the futurist, dystopian, heavily militarized Brazil that some viewers may recall from the films of Adirley Queirós (White Out, Black In; Once There Was Brasilia), this is a passionately, angrily conceived portrait of lesbian love set against the backdrop of social protests in Fortaleza (similar protests, with economic demands, engulfed the whole country in 2013). This “impatient hymn to blind fury" (FIDMarseille), takes a beat from the opening rap lyrics that call on all to get politicized and to resist paralysis.
The Passage of the Comet. Dir. Juliana Rojas. 2017, 20 mins. One of Brazil’s most promising young filmmakers (Good Manners) Juliana Rojas brings inflections of genre to pointed social critiques. In The Passage of the Comet, set in a clandestine abortion clinic, women gaze at the skies to catch a glimpse of the historic passing of Halley’s comet.
Top image: Coffee with Cinnamon (Dirs. Glenda Ninácio, Ary Rosa. 2017) / Courtesy of Rosza Filmes
Press contact: Tomoko Kawamoto, email@example.com or 718 777 6830.
Press screeners available for consideration. Please inquire.
Museum of the Moving Image (movingimage.us) advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In its stunning facility—acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold design—the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings of significant works; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and education programs which serve more than 70,000 students each year. The Museum also houses a significant collection of moving-image artifacts.
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