New Yorkers, get ready once again… another annual Premiere Brazil! installment at MoMA begins TODAY, July 12, and runs through the 24th. It’s always a film enthusiast’s treat, and recommended. I wish I could see more of the films each year, but there’s never enough time in the day to do so.
This is the series’ 10th edition by the way. And to celebrate, new works from filmmakers previously featured, are on the scheduled, like Eduardo Coutinho (Songs); Beto Brant (I’d Receive the Worst News from Your Beautiful Lips); and Selton Mello (The Clown).
Also featured will be talented newcomers like Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla, who debut with Look at Me Again; and Vinicius Coimbra, with a Brazilian Western about redemption and revenge, titled Matraga.
There is also 5 x Favela (photo above) – a collection of five fiction shorts about various aspects of favela-dwelling; and Peace in Rio, a documentary about the controversial social policing of the favelas.
All films are from Brazil and in Portuguese with English subtitles. Films are New York premieres, and initial screenings will be introduced by each filmmaker, which is great!
On Monday, July 16, a round-table discussion titled Film and Social Change: The Case of Rio’s Favelas, will take place, between artists, social commentators, and politicians.
A spotlight on 5 X Favela – as noted, the feature is a collection of five fiction shorts, each telling a different story about favela-dwelling, and each directed by a different filmmaker.
Here are descriptions of the 5:
SOURCE OF INCOME Directors: Manaíra Carneiro and Wagner Novais A young man fulfils his dream to go to Law University, but is faced with difficulties paying up his expenses with books and transport. He feels tempted to sell drugs to his friends at university, thus raising the money to fund his studies.
RICE AND BEANS Director: Rodrigo Felha and Cacau Amaral Wesley, a young boy, listens to a confession by his father: he is tired of the household menu, always consisting of a plate filled with rice and stewed beans. The boy, joined by his friend Orelha, decides to find some money to buy a chicken.
CONCERT FOR VIOLIN Director: Luciano Vidigal The children Márcia, Jota and Ademir vow to remain friends for ever. Later, in their adulthood, Jota is involved in drug trafficking while Ademir has joined the police force. If the two are brought against each other, Márcia may be prevented from fulfilling her dream to play the violin.
LET IT FLY Director: Cadu Barcelos Flávio lets his friend’s kite fall across the other quarter of the favela, which is run by a rival gang. Even though he is aware of the prohibition, Flávio decides to collect the kite.
LET THERE BE LIGHT Director: Luciana Bezerra On Christmas Eve, the shanty town hill has been out of power for three days. The engineers who have been sent over by the power utility company do not manage to fix the problem. The residents kidnap one of the engineers, taking him as a hostage until the light supply is restored.
The trailer, embedded below promises a somewhat more vibrant look at the lives of men and women living in these so-called shanty towns in Brazil, compared to the usually gritty, bleak, dark and deadly images past movies (like City Of God) have given us.
But I’m definitely keen on seeing this, and other films at MoMA’s Premiere Brazil! series, which, again, begins TODAY.
I couldn’t immediately find a trailer with English subtitles, but you should be able to get a feel for the film from the images, and music: