Latin American, Human Rights Centers Present Film Series

March 15, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) and the Benson Latin American Collection are collaborating with the Brazil Center at the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and Kinobras to bring a Brazil and human rights film series to The University of Texas at Austin.

The Brazilian Film Series on Human Rights will feature seven critically acclaimed films with central human rights themes to be presented March 21-31 in locations across campus.

The series showcases films that examine global human rights issues, such as youth incarceration ("Behave"); hate crimes against the gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer communities ("Sexuality and Hate Crimes"); and sex trafficking ("Cinderellas, Wolves and One Prince Charming"), through the lens of Brazil.

The Brazil Center and the HRDI chose recent films that document a wide range of human rights violations while challenging mainstream perceptions of Brazil.

"Since U.S. audiences often equate Brazil with Rio de Janeiro (for example, beaches, Carnaval, favelas),  my co-organizer, Julie Nordskog, and I wanted to expand this unidimensional view by screening films based not only in Rio, but also in the Amazon and the northeast of Brazil," said HRDI archivist T-Kay Sangwand. "Brazil is the fifth most populous country in the world and its complexities cannot be understood by focusing solely on one city.

"We also chose films that portray its protagonists not as victims of their conditions, but as human beings with agency and dignity," added Sangwand. "Films such as 'Waste Land' and 'Dzi Croquettes' highlight the healing and transformative potential of art, even in the face of staggering adversity."

All screenings are free and open to the public.

Schedule:

"Behave" (2008)
Monday, March 21, 5-6:30 p.m.
Utopia Theater, School of Social Work
Juízo follows the process of what happens to minors (under age 18) who have fallen into the hands of the Brazilian legal system. Boys and girls from underprivileged backgrounds become involved with crime and face trials and sentences handed down for theft, drug trafficking and even murder. Due to legal constraints about revealing the identity of the minors charged, the accused adolescents are played in the film by young people who have lived in similar social conditions, although innocent of crimes. Directed by Maria Augusta Ramos. 90 minutes.

"Sérgio" (2009)
Tuesday, March 22, 2-3:30 p.m.
LLILAS Hackett Room, SRH 1.313
Sérgio is a biography about the Brazilian Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, killed in a 2003 terrorist attack during a flawed United Nations mission to Iraq shortly after the invasion. Sérgio dedicated 34 years of service as a diplomat to the United Nations and was responsible for leading East Timor to independence in 2002. Directed by Greg Baker. 90 minutes.

"Nas Terras do Bem-Virá" (2007)
Monday, March 28, 2-4 p.m.
Benson Latin American Collection Seminar Room, SRH 1.115
Filmed in 29 cities across five states, this documents the results of the failed government program to develop the Amazon.  The film covers the murder of Sister Dorothy Stang, the Eldorado do Carajás massacre, slave work and the model of colonization of the Amazon. Directed by Alexandre Rampazzo and Tatiana Polastri. 110 minutes.

"Sexuality and Hate Crimes" (2008)
Tuesday, March 29, 2-2:30 p.m.
Benson Latin American Collection Seminar Room, SRH 1.115
This documentary uncovers the brutalities and the suffering of homosexuals in Brazil. Filmed in Rio de Janeiro, the film protests the injustice of violence and impunity against the homosexual community. Directed by Vagner de Almeida. 29 minutes.

"Dzi Croquettes" (2009)
Tuesday, March 29, 2:45-4:30 p.m.
Benson Latin American Collection Seminar Room, SRH 1.115
Dzi Croquettes confronted, through talent, irony and humor, the Brazilian government's violent dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. Banned by the military regime, they revolutionized theater and dance language. Their history encompasses Brazilian pop culture, the sexual revolution, the beginning of the AIDS era and an enduring legacy. Directed by Tatiana Issa and Raphael Alvarez. 98 minutes.

"Waste Land" (2010)
Wednesday, March 30, 5-6:30 p.m.
Texas Union Theater
Oscar-nominated in 2011, "Waste Land" chronicles artist Vik Muniz's journey to Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. He collaborates with an eclectic band of catadores, or self-designated "pickers" of recyclable materials, and photographs these characters as they recycle their lives and society's garbage. Lucy Walker gains access to the entire process and offers stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the dignity that can be found in personal determination. Directed by Lucy Walker.  99 minutes.

"Cinderellas, Wolves and One Prince Charming" (2008)
Thursday, March 31, 2-3:45 p.m.
Benson Latin American Collection Seminar Room, SRH 1.115
About 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Yet many young Brazilian women still believe they can change their lives and find their Prince Charming as they plunge into the world of sex tourism. This compelling film journeys from northeast Brazil to Berlin in an attempt to understand the ideas of sex, race and power behind the dreams of these young Cinderellas and the wolves that await them. Directed by Joel Zito Araújo. 106 minutes.

For more information, contact: Travis Willmann, University of Texas Libraries, 512 495 4644.