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Beyond difference: female participation in the Brazilian film revival of the 1990s

Nagib, L. (2017) Beyond difference: female participation in the Brazilian film revival of the 1990s. In: Shaw, D. and Martin, D. (eds.) Latin American Women Filmmakers. I.B. Tauris, London/New York, pp. 31-47. ISBN 9781784537111

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Abstract/Summary

In this chapter, I will focus on the female participation in what became known as ‘The Retomada do Cinema Brasileiro’, or the Brazilian Film Revival, by thinking beyond differences of gender, class, age and ethnicity. I will first re-consider the Retomada phenomenon against the backdrop of its historical time, so as to evaluate whether the production boom of the period translated into a creative peak, and, if so, how much of this carried onto the present day. I will then look at the female participation in this phenomenon not just in terms of numerical growth of women film directors, admittedly impressive, but only partially reflective of the drastic changes in the modes of production and address effected by the neoliberal policies introduced in the country in the mid 1990s. I will argue that the most decisive contribution brought about by the rise of women in Brazilian filmmaking has been the spread of team work and shared authorship, as opposed to a mere aspiration to the auteur pantheon, as determined by a notoriously male-oriented tradition. Granted, films focusing on female victimisation were rife during the Retomada period and persist to this day, and they have been, and continue to be, invaluable for the understanding of women’s struggles in the country. However, rather than resorting to feminist readings of representational strategies in these films, I will draw attention to other, presentational aesthetic experiments, open to the documentary contingent and the unpredictable real, which, I argue, suspend the pedagogical character of representational narratives. In order to demonstrate that new theoretical tools are needed to understand the gender powers at play in contemporary world cinema, I will, to conclude, analyse an excerpt of the film, Delicate Crime (Crime delicado, Beto Brant, 2006), where team work comes out as a particularly effective female, and feminist, procedure.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:47627
Uncontrolled Keywords:Brazilian cinema; Latin American Cinema; women's filmmaking
Publisher:I.B. Tauris

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