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Brazilian Women's Filmmaking

From Dictatorship to Democracy


Publication Year: 2012

At most recent count, there are no fewer than forty-five women in Brazil directing or codirecting feature-length fiction or documentary films. In the early 1990s, women filmmakers in Brazil were credited for being at the forefront of the rebirth of filmmaking, or retomada, after the abolition of the state film agency and subsequent standstill of film production. Despite their numbers and success, films by Brazilian women directors are generally absent from discussions of Latin American film and published scholarly works._x000B__x000B_Filling this void, Brazilian Women's Filmmaking focuses on women's film production in Brazil from the mid-1970s to the current era. Leslie L. Marsh explains how women's filmmaking contributed to the reformulation of sexual, cultural, and political citizenship during Brazil's fight for the return and expansion of civil rights during the 1970s and 1980s and the recent questioning of the quality of democracy in the 1990s and 2000s. She interprets key films by Ana Carolina and Tizuka Yamasaki, documentaries with social themes, and independent videos supported by archival research and extensive interviews with Brazilian women filmmakers. Despite changes in production contexts, recent Brazilian women's films have furthered feminist debates regarding citizenship while raising concerns about the quality of the emergent democracy. Brazilian Women's Filmmaking offers a unique view of how women's audiovisual production has intersected with the reconfigurations of gender and female sexuality put forth by the women's movements in Brazil and continuing demands for greater social, cultural, and political inclusion._x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page

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pp. v

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pp. vii-viii

Much like a film, this book had a behind-the-scenes crew that offered encouragement and insight over many years. My sincere thanks go to Catherine Benamou, who has been supportive of this project since its beginnings. This book was partially funded by a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the International...

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pp. 1-12

It was raining the day Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as Brazil’s new president. Television commentators noted that the stage before the Planalto (presidential office) was usually open but had to be covered due to the rain. The outgoing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stood before the masses who had gathered to witness...

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Chapter 1 Brazilian Women’s Filmmaking and the State during the 1970s and 1980s

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pp. 13-45

Despite a long history in filmmaking and increasing visibility, women’s contribution to Brazilian cinema has only recently begun to gain greater attention from scholars of Latin American film. In the preface to the article they include in their volume on women’s filmmaking in Brazil, Randal Johnson and Robert Stam refer...

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Chapter 2 Contesting the Boundaries of Belonging in the Films of Ana Carolina Teixeira Soares

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pp. 46-87

Having begun her career in filmmaking in the 1960s and continued into the new millennium, Ana Carolina is a foundational woman director of twentiethcentury Brazilian cinema. Before directing her first feature-length fiction film (Mar de Rosas) in 1977, Ana Carolina...

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Chapter 3 Rescreening the Past: The Politics of Memory in Brazilian Women’s Filmmaking of the 1980s

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pp. 88-119

Brazilian women’s filmmaking during the 1980s emerged at the juncture of several influences. Amid apparent political openings, a pressing desire to reflect on the recent past rubbed up against state-sponsored visions of Brazilian history. A process of developing new senses of cultural and political identity was met with a lingering practice...

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Chapter 4 Widening the Screen: Independent and Alternative Film and Video, 1983 to 1988

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pp. 120-153

Just as it is important to bring to light Brazilian women’s feature-length filmmaking, it is equally important to address independent and alternative film and video projects that contributed to new definitions of citizenship during the last years of the dictatorship and the transition toward democracy. While the term independent...

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Chapter 5 Developments under Democracy: Brazilian Women’s Filmmaking in a New Era

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pp. 154-180

The years encompassing the transition from an autocratic regime to democracy in Brazil did not progress without challenges. Director Lúcia Murat’s 1996 film Doces Poderes highlights the importance of the moving image to intervene in democratic reconstruction of the nation and speaks to a key turning point in Brazil’s recent political...

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pp. 181-184

In addition to recent efforts by President Rousseff to bring attention to Brazilian women artists, the year 2004 marked a watershed moment in contemporary Brazilian women’s filmmaking. Coinciding with the declaration of 2004 as the Year of the Brazilian...


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pp. 185-210

Selected Filmography

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pp. 211-214


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pp. 215-228


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pp. 229-234

E-ISBN-13: 9780252094378
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037252

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2012