Stories

Soul in the Eye

Brazil is home to the biggest African diaspora in the world. For a long time, this was all but visible in film, but recent years have seen a striking upsurge in black Brazilian cinema. Soul in the Eye, part of the Perspectives section at IFFR 2019, will celebrate this new generation through a number of features and short films that draw on this rich Afro-Brazilian heritage.

Brazilian cinema is rising, but it’s not the first time. Actor, filmmaker and activist Zózimo Bulbul (1937-2013) was the figurehead of black Brazilian cinema during the 1960s. Through film, he made the history, culture and political situation of black Brazilians visible, as powerfully portrayed in his short film Alma No Olho (Soul in the Eye, 1973). Even though Bulbul temporarily fled the Brazilian dictatorship of the 1970s, emigrating to the United States, his influence is still felt strongly today. A new generation of black Brazilian filmmakers pay tribute to Bulbul’s vital, forthright legacy.

“What strikes me about our selected films is how they give breath to another spectrum of the human experience”, says IFFR programmer Tessa Boerman. “They reveal the richness of Afro-Brazilian culture and an extraordinary diversity, both through the people that feature and also in their cinematic approach. The result is an array of features and short films that provoke a wide range of emotions. These films are heartwarmingly humane, soothing, dazzling, bold and confronting.”

  • Still: Eu, Minha Mãe e Wallace

    Still: Eu, Minha Mãe e Wallace

  • Still: Pattaki

    Still: Pattaki

  • Still: Temporada

Ilha by Ary Rosa and Glenda Nicácio, Abolição by Zózimo Bulbul, Meu amigo Fela by Joel Zito Araújo (world premiere), and Temporada by André Novais Oliveira are the feature-length films to show in this programme. Ilha is a film about the island kidnapping of an award-winning Brazilian filmmaker. Abolição, a documentary that marked the traces of slavery in Brazil, 100 years after abolition, mixing colour and black-and-white archival footage. Meu Amigo Fela, a portrait of the Nigerian musical wonder Fela Kuti, told through the eyes of his friend and official biographer the African-Cuban intellectual Carlos Moore. And Temporada, a story of Juliana who has justed moved from her inner city hometown of Itaúna to the metropolitan town of Contagem in Brazil to work in public sanitation.

On Sunday January 27 from 12:00 until 15:30 hrs in the Hilton Rotterdam: Talks with filmmakers, a performance by Jota Mombaça and a masterclass by Tiger Award nominee Gabriel Martins Alves. 

Soul in the Eye, Zózimo Bulbul's legacy and contemporary black Brazilian cinema is curated by IFFR programmers Tessa Boerman, Peter van Hoof and Brazilian guest curator Janaína Oliveira.

Feature films:

  • Abolição, Zózimo Bulbul, 1988, Brazil, 153’

  • Ilha, Ary Rosa/Glenda Nicácio, 2019, Brazil, 94’, international premiere

  • Meu amigo Fela, Joel Zito Araújo, 2018, Nigeria/France/USA/Brazil, 94’, world premiere

  • Temporada, André Novais Oliveira, 2018, Brazil, 113’

Short films:

  • Afronte, Bruno Victor/Marcus Azevedo, 2018, Brazil, 15’

  • Alma no olho, Zózimo Bulbul, 1973, Brazil, 11’

  • Aniceto do Império em dia de alforria, Zózimo Bulbul, 1981, Brazil, 11’

  • ASSIM, Keia Serruya, 2013, Brazil, 13’

  • BR3, Bruno Ribeiro, 2018, Brazil, 23’, international premiere

  • Cartucho de Super Nintendo em Aneis de Saturno, Leon Reis, 2018, Brazil, 20’, international premiere

  • Dia de Jerusa, Viviane Ferreira, 2014, Brazil, 21’

  • Elekô, Coletivo Mulheres de Pedra, 2015, Brazil, 6’

  • Eu, Minha Mãe e Wallace, Eduardo Carvalho/Marcos Carvalho, 2018, Brazil, 22’, international premiere

  • Experimentando o Vermelho em Dilúvio, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, 2016, Brazil, 8’, international premiere

  • Kbela, Yasmin Thayná, 2015, Brazil, 22’

  • Merê, Urânia Munzanzu, 2019, Brazil, 16’

  • Nada, Gabriel Martins, 2017, Brazil,  27’

  • NoirBLUE, déplacements d'une danse, Ana Pi, 2019, Brazil/France, 27’, international premiere

  • Pattaki, Everlane Moraes, 2019, Cuba, 20’, world premiere

  • Pequena África, Zózimo Bulbul, 2002, Brazil, 14’

  • Perpétuo, Lorran Dias, 2018, Brazil, 25’, international premiere

  • Peripatético, Jéssica Queiroz/Jéssica Queiroz, 2017, Brazil, 15’, international premiere

  • Pontes sobre Abismos, Aline Motta, 2018,  Brazilië, 8’, international premiere

  • Quantos eram pra tá?, Vinícius Silva, 2018, Brazil, 29’, international premiere

  • Quintal, André Novais Oliveira, 2015, Brazil, 15’

  • Rainha, Sabrina Fidalgo, Sabrina Fidalgo, 2016, Brazil, 30’

  • O Som do Silêncio, David Aynã, 2019, Brazil, 17’, European premiere

  • Travessia, Safira Moreira/Safira Moreira, 2017, Brazil, 5’

Photo in header: Still: Rainha