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Conclusion 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 Woman and Rio de Janeiro’s holding a special summit on women of the Mercosul/Mercosur, the first edition of the Femina International Festival of Women’s Cinema (Festival Internacional de Cinema Feminino) took place. By its eighth edition (in 2011), the Femina Festival has become a premier mobilizer for women’s filmmaking, establishing connections between Brazilian women’s filmmaking and the rest of Latin America while also positioning Latin American women’s filmmaking within a larger framework of world cinema. With recent financial support from the United Nations, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, and major corporations, it is highly likely that the festival will continue to be one of the most important venues for showcasing and promoting Latin American women’s filmmaking. As venues for wide public exhibition, film festivals help solidify the presence of women filmmakers and serve as opportunities to interact with other film professionals, develop liasions for funding opportunities, and allow a point of contact for distribution firms to potentially “pick up” women’s films for national and international distribution. What is more, such film festivals are vitally important for drawing attention to women’s works that may otherwise be overlooked or works that may markedly diverge from mainstream, commercial cinema. In addition to the efflorescence of women’s filmmaking in Brazil—such that it is difficult to keep an accurate “census” of directors—the fact that the Femina Festival has not only confirmed its presence but also Marsh_Text.indd 181 8/7/12 2:34 PM 182 . Conclusion diversified and formed links with other international women’s film festivals (such as the Films des Femmes festival in France) shows that women’s filmmaking in Brazil (and Latin America more generally) is a dynamic, established category within world cinema. To summarize, in broad strokes, where Brazilian women’s film practice stands today, one would quickly come to the conclusion that current women’s film practice in Brazil continues and furthers past practices. As noted in chapter 5, contemporary Brazilian women’s films regularly return to issues of gender and female sexuality but now from a postrevolution, postdictatorial perspective. As discussed in chapters 2 and 3, the groundbreaking filmmakers Ana Carolina and Tizuka Yamasaki developed feminist discourses around women’s civil rights and female sexuality, proposed new visions of belonging in Brazilian society, and, despite their marked aesthetic differences, shared a goal in the late 1970s and early 1980s to counter a patriarchal authoritarian state. Similarities aside, Yamasaki notably expands the discussion of brasilidade by including Brazil’s ethnic and racial “others.” During the slow retraction of the military state during the 1970s and 1980s, Brazilian women filmmakers were at the helm of works that increasingly challenged practices of exclusion. As discussed in chapter 4, they produced films and videos that expanded perceptions of Brazilian womanhood, focused on the emerging political consciousness of disenfranchised women, and intervened in classbased demands for improved healthcare. With regard to the issues raised by contemporary Brazilian women’s film practice, one notes parallels to the overall trajectory of feminist ideology in recent decades. Throughout the 1990s and in recent years, one finds an increasingly intersectional approach whereby gender and female sexuality have been studied in conjunction with age, class, race, ethnicity, and other markers of power and social exclusion. The sociopolitical issues raised by women directors from the past find echo in current debates surrounding Brazilian women’s filmmaking. Concerns raised in the 1970s regarding women’s representation in the media continue to be hotly debated in the current context . One finds also a dedication to social, political, and cultural issues that affect women’s lives (in other words, the feminization of poverty, abortion rights, domestic violence, the legal system, and so on). In this, we find that Brazilian women’s film practice retains an impulse to use moving images as a way to denounce social inequality and fight for justice. Whereas Eunice Gutman (discussed in chapter 4) once stood virtually alone with her film on lesbianism in Brazil (Segredos de Amor, 1998/99), she is now joined by more directors (Verônia Guedes, Eloísa Fusca, Maria Angélica Lemos) who also Marsh_Text.indd 182 8/7/12 2:34 PM Conclusion · 183 address lesbian experience. In sum, discussion...


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