“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?