A New Brazilian Film: History of Love and Fury (translation)

 

“Rio 2096: Uma história de amor e fúria”   is a new Brazilian film that premiered in 2013. It is an independent film that has already won some awards, revolutionary in its themes and form. It is an animated film, a rarity in Brazilian cinema, which critiques and presents a different version of Brazilian history—one from the point of view of the Tupinamba indigenous people. The hero lives for 600 years. He’s been given the power of immortality and the ability to remember his lives over the centuries. His mission is to deliver the tupi people to the land without evil. This mission, along with his deep love for Janaína (who appears as different women over the ages—but she does not recognize him or realize that she has been reborn) gives him the strength to continue his struggle.

The film takes the spectator on a journey through Brazilian history. For example, it includes the extermination of the Tupinambá Indians, the Balaiada Revolution in Maranhão, the creation of the Brazilian military, the military dictatorship that started in the 1960s and a dystopian future, in which the corporation “Aquabrás” controls all the water in Rio de Janeiro. The “marvelous city” has turned into a dark nightmare in this film. There is no light—neither figuratively nor literally. From its beginnings, Rio de Janeiro has been described as a tropical paradise, full of nature due to the Bay of Guanabara, the Tujica tropical forest, and its beaches. But in 2096 the city is portrayed as a concrete jungle, corrupt, with a weak Christ the Redeemer statue—the poor thing has a broken arm!

The film is a critique of the “official history.” It offers another version by way of the indigenous perspective and mythology. But it is also a warning. It provokes some questions: What is the role of the police and military? How long will we continue to waste natural resources? In reality, who is the government? Recently, due to the protests over the last few months in Brazil, there has been a lot of talk about the masses becoming more politically aware. Some say “The giant (Brazil) has awoken.”  Is “Rio 2096: A History of Love and Fury” a result of this new consciousness, a natural consequence in film, or is this another challenge?

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Novo filme brasileiro: Uma história de amor e fúria

“Rio 2096: Uma história de amor e fúria”  é um novo filme brasileiro que saiu em 2013. O filme é independente e ganhou alguns prêmios já. É revolucionário na sua temática e na sua forma. É um filme de animação–raridade no cinema brasileiro, que critica e oferece uma versão diferente da história brasileira–a través do ponto de vista do indígena tupinambá. O herói vive por mais de 600 anos, dado uma potência de imortalidade, de renascer e lembrar suas vidas.  O contexto do filme é a mitologia tupi-guarani. O herói deve levar seu povo para a terra sem maldade. Essa missão, e o amor para Janaína, são as motivações do herói para continuar sua luta e vencer durante seis séculos.

O filme leva o espetador por vários momentos históricos do Brasil. Por exemplo, a exterminação dos indígenas tupinambá, a Balaiada no Maranhão, a criação do exercito brasileiro, a ditadura militar e até um futuro distópico em que uma empresa “Aquabrás” controla toda a agua da cidade do Rio de Janeiro . A cidade maravilhosa no filme, virou pesadelo obscuro, sem iluminação–figurativa ou literal. O Rio de Janeiro, desde seus inicios, descrito como um paraíso no litoral, cheio de natureza da Bahia de Guanabara e da floresta da Tijuca, é no ano 2096 uma cidade de concreto, podre, com um fraco Cristo Redentor de braço quebrado.

O filme é uma critica da história “oficial”, outra versão dela a través da perspectiva e mitologia indígena, mas também uma advertência. Provoca estas questões: Quais são os papéis da policia e das forças militares?  Por quanto tempo vamos desperdiçar os recursos naturais? Na realidade, quem governa? Recentemente tem falado que “o gigante acordou” no Brasil, indicado pelos protestos dos últimos meses. É “Uma historia de amor e fúria” uma resulta desta nova consciência, uma manifestação cinematográfica consequente,  ou outro grito de alerta?

Around the World with Elena Como: An Interview

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Interview conducted via e-mail on September 19, 2013.

As owner of Atlantico Books, your main responsibility is to buy and sell books in Portuguese. What inspired you to create your own books, such as the Ao Redor do Mundo series?

Elena: I would say we “import and distribute” (as opposed to buy and sell), but it’s the same basic idea. I wanted to find a creative way to collaborate with my “tribe” of Brazilian & Portuguese studies people. I also knew that there was a need for more “readers” for Portuguese students, with articles that are up-to-date and that expose students to the many different cultures and peoples of the Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora. It’s also been a real pleasure and my honor to help some of our younger collaborators to get their work into print for the first time.

What are some of the challenges you faced in the first volume of Ao Redor, that you were able to solve in the second volume?

Elena: For the first volume, I had more trouble sorting out “themes” for the diverse articles. In the volume two, I’m pleased that we were able to fit all of our articles into one of the three headings: Figuras Emblematicas, Comunidades e suas Culturas, & Nossa Língua Portuguesa.

Also, for the 2nd volume, I was very pleased to find a geographer, Michael Battaglia, who agreed to provide us with some helpful maps of the Lusophone World, and of the parts of the world where you find Lusophone Creole Languages (for Paula Soares’ article).

Another improvement is the addition of “perguntas antes de ler” or study-guides ahead of each chapter, to assist students in preparing for the new topic or new theme. This innovation was inspired by Luis Gonçalves and Celeste Mann, who each provided study questions before and after their chapters.

What themes are covered in the articles? What types of articles would you like to see in future volumes?

Elena: The articles are diverse! One that was very informative was Ana Paula Corazza’s article about the sustainable community harvest of the coco-licuri, in Brazil. I also enjoyed learning about Galicia  and its relationship with Portugal, and the Galego language, from Claudia Coelho’s article. There are several articles at the end of the book that talk about the Portuguese language and how it is spoken around the world. These were written by linguists and are the hardest reading in the book, but I feel it’s important to offer some more challenging articles for more advanced readers.

Celeste: In Volume 2 of Ao Redor do Mundo, in particular, there are a few articles about music, highlighting Cesária Evora (Cape Verde), Chiquinha Gonzaga (Brazil), Caetano Veloso (Brazil) and Amália Rodrigues (Portugal). In the first volume there’s an interview about Angolan music and the musician, Mário Rui Silva.

Would you briefly explain the process of collaboration on the volumes and how this has evolved? Are there things that you would do differently in the future?

Elena: When I started with “Missa do Galo e Outros Contos” it was mostly phone calls and emails. But for Ao Redor do Mundo I made use of Facebook, and Facebook (private) groups to reach out and collaborate with the contributors. Facebook was helpful in providing us with contacts, talented writers, illustrators, and willing and able editors.

For a future collaboration, I’d love to find a professional Brazilian and professional Portuguese editor to really clean up any typos, A.O. errors, and grammatical errors. It has been tricky editing a series with such diverse writing.

All of the articles are unique and interesting in their own ways, and popularity/accessibility would depend on the reader. Which ones  are  favorites of your clients?

Elena: Volume 2 is very new, so it’s hard to say! But in volume 1, many people have commented on the chapter “Meio Bugre” by Eva Bueno, and also on Eva’s “Gaijin, Gaijin.” For Brazilian literature enthusiasts, Selma Vital’s chapter about Machado de Assis and 18th Century Brazilian (male) novelists “Homens de Letras, Mulheres de Papel” was a hit. Another great article in volume 1 is Portugal e a Comunidade Digital, by Anita Melo, who gives a brief history of writing in Portugal, and an examination of blogs by Portuguese bloggers.

How has working on these volumes changed you in terms of your role as business owner and/or artist?  

Elena: These projects have allowed me to explore the role of Project Manager, and also to strengthen ties with teachers, friends, clients, and students of Portuguese. It’s been heartening to find so many people who want to contribute their talents to Ao Redor do Mundo.

How do you see these books contributing to cultural studies or the arts  in the world?

Elena: For students who want to learn more about the cultures that speak Portuguese, it’s often difficult to choose a topic or person to research, because although there’s much information on the internet, it is hard for a beginner to know where to start. For the ambitious Portuguese student who wants to know more about the Portuguese-speaking diaspora, I hope these books are helpful. Also, for former Portuguese students who want to get back into reading Portuguese, these books are easy to pick up and put back down, even for busy professionals, because most of the articles are quite short.

 How can people sample or purchase these volumes and other materials from Atlantico Books?

The first few chapters of volume 2 are visible as a “preview” on the Amazon.com Kindle E-Book page, here:

http://www.amazon.com/Redor-Mundo-Portugu%C3%AAs-Portuguese-ebook/dp/B00C093Z7O/

For a preview of volume 1, you can go here:

http://atlanticobooks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/PDF-Preview-Ao-Redor-do-Mundo.pdf

To purchase these or any of our other titles in Portuguese, go to http://www.AtlanticoBooks.com

Thank you Elena! It’s been a pleasure to hear about the making of Ao Redor do Mundo Vol. 1 & 2. 

Chiquinha Gonzaga Itinerary! (PHOTOS)

1. Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Tomás Antonio Gonzaga, one of the “Inconfidentes” (rebels) was a poet and also a distant relation of Chiquinha Gonzaga. This attempt of independence, in 1789, the “Inconfidência Mineira” failed, but the inconfidentes are revered in Brazilian history. Tomás Antonio Gonzaga was also a poet, and known for his poem: “Marilia de Dirceu.”

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Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Place of “Inconfidência Mineira”, conspiracy for Independence from Portugal.

2. SBAT: Sociedade Brasileira de Autores Teatrais. (Society of Brazilian Theatrical Authors). Fransisca “Chiquinha” Gonzaga and other composers and writers founded this organization in 1917 to protect the rights of composers and bookwriters/librettists who worked in musical theatre. The organization still exists today and the original and main site is located in the Centro in Rio de Janeiro. There are also other branches in cities around Brazil. http://www.casadoautorbrasileiro.com.br/sbat

Bust of Chiquinha Gonzaga in SBAT.

Bust of Chiquinha Gonzaga in SBAT.

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SBAT: Sociedade Brasileira de Autores Teatrais.

SBAT: Sociedade Brasileira de Autores Teatrais.

3.Confeitaria Colombo. Confeitarias were popular during the late 19th century and also the early 20th century. Chiquinha and other musicians often played in the confeitarias. http://www.confeitariacolombo.com.br/site/

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2nd floor tea room at Confeitaria Colombo in CENTRO, Rio.

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Some of the sweets you can get at Colombo!

Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32 / Centro – Rio de Janeiro Tel.: 21 2505.1500

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People waiting on line to get a table in the downstairs tea room.

People waiting on line to get a table in the downstairs tea room.

4. Paço Imperial:

Paço Imperial--public domain photo from Wikipedia Commons

Paço Imperial–public domain photo from Wikipedia Commons

this is the place where the Emperor and Princess isabel reigned before Brazil became a Republic, and when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the country. Chiquinha Gonzaga and others involved in politics, would have mobilized outside this structure. The “Lei Aurea” (Emancipation of Slaves in 1888) was signed in this building.

5. Rua do Ouvidor. This street still exists in Rio de Janeiro. It was one of the few not removed or enlarged by the Pereira Passos’ reforms in the early 20th century. It is like a small slice of life, of “street”, rua or alma (soul) from that period in a confusing conglomeration of streets and avenues in the Centro today.

Rua do Ouvidor in Rio de Janeiro. Public Domain.

Rua do Ouvidor in Rio de Janeiro. Public Domain.

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Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro. Copyright Celeste Mann

6. Instituto Moreira Salles or IMS. The IMS in Rio de Janeiro is located in the Zona Sul in Gávea. This was an important stop for me because they house archives of many important works, including the papers and scores of Chiquinha Gonzaga. You can visit the café, gardens, exhibitions or the archives. I also met my Brazilian roommate, Díonisia at the café in IMS. I rented a room in Dionísia’s apartment, at the time she lived in Leblon, when I studied at PUC-Rio in Gávea. Dionísia had never been to the IMS in spite of living in Leblon and later in Barra, which are not far from Gávea. A retired dancer, choreographer and dance ethnographer, she was just as delighted with the surroundings as I was! It is a tranquil, lovely and artistic place. I was able to see digitized, original scores and notes from Chiquinha’s musical theatre works, Bota do diabo and Dama de ouros.   http://ims.uol.com.br/Home/D1

7. Theatro Municipal The Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro was erected during the Pereira Passos’ Reforms. This building is absolutely breathtaking–inside and out. In addition to a tour of the inside of the theatre, I also had the pleasure of attending, “Il Turco in Italia,” which was performed in concert. My friend and colleague, Brazilian baritone Igor Vieira, stood out among the cast of local opera singers. Even in a concert version, Igor brought to life the character, vocally and dramatically.  The miniseries “Chiquinha Gonzaga” uses the Theatro Municipal as a back-drop. It is a “play within a play” and the elderly Chiquinha watches a play of her life at the Theatro Municipal.  http://www.theatromunicipal.rj.gov.br/

Theatro Municipal, RJ at night, illuminated. Photo by C. Mann

Theatro Municipal, RJ at night, illuminated. Photo by C. Mann

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Interior of Theatro Municipal, RJ (photo by C. Mann)

8.Academia Brasileira de Letras. I attended a round-table here. Although this  organization was not founded until the 20th century, late in Chiquinha’s life, she was influenced by (and knew some of) Brazil’s great writers. http://www.academia.org.br/abl/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?tpl=home

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9. Forrobodó!  Chiquinha Gonzaga’s most famous musical. Revived at the Teatro Ginástica with the addition of 20th century sambas and songs.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUvWSLi6Qeg

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Set of Forrobodó.

Set of Forrobodó.