A Viewpoint

My Big Boy

A black Brazilian film production didnít exist until now. Small bursts happened during the 50s but nothing that could win the paralyzing effect of the lack of money from the blacks and the lack of interest from the controlling elite in the country. The black people were there, on the pellicle, but not represented in its true integrity. Thatís the way some new black Brazilian filmmakers see it.

By Augusto Ciuffo

The Dogma Feijoada movement was invented to create a reality that didnít exist and to correct a misplacement of the black Brazilian history that portrayed this people as they never were and never wanted to be. There were no consultations beforehand.

As always happened, in a hundred of other situations, Brazilian movies on the theme told the history of the blacks in that country through the eyes of the winners or its inheritance. Not legitimated by the actual experience of those who knew better what urgency was, the dominant vision of the Brazilian black people through the pellicle seems to have misrepresented them.

The Dogma Feijoada represents a witty and funny response to this situation. The Dogma 95 spread around the world, other countries, such as Spain, France, USA, Korea and Argentina, among others, made their contributions.

Now this movement is being reviewed through the eyes of the 13 black Brazilian filmmakers who want to show the real face of their people. An image undistorted. Not portraying them neither as the black hero nor as the naÔve, the sexless, and the Ďsambaí musician. Simple people only, as they really are.

The Meaning behind the Name

The name Dogma Feijoada conveys much more than just an indigenous response. It brings in itself an aggregating factor that puts together realities that were scattered around Brazil and now are united to represent the best we have. The best taste of Brazil.

If one check out the recipe of a feijoada will see that it brings together different ingredients to produce a unique flavor. More than that, this dish is eaten by all classes alike, rich and poor enjoy it the same way. Feijoada translates the Brazilian soul. Our soul food.

Connecting this to a restrictive set of rules in a dogma doesnít bring it to a narrow road, to a certain loss of meaning. Actually, in this case it enhances the focus on the black people social conditions, making relevant their problems. The intention is to benefit the people at first hand, neither the artist nor the art in itself.

More important than antagonize with the Denmark movement, whether that ever was a real purpose, the requirements for the Brazilian dogma intends to show the social conditions behind the black people today and the difficulties in getting them represented. Nothing more singular than a dogma. Nothing more unique than a black Brazilian film production. For better or worse.

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