To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March 31, 1964, military coup that initiated 20 years of dictatorship in Brazil, we’re presenting a program that deals with that legacy both directly and indirectly.
Structured like a travel diary, Flavia Castro’s Diary, Letters, Revolutions recounts the life and travels of her family and her father, Brazilian activist Celso Afonso Gay de Castro. Like so many militant leftists of his generation, Celso Castro’s political struggles sent him into exile during the military dictatorship that was in power from 1964 to 1985. Flavia’s childhood was spent traveling between Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and France. With her mother as a frequent guide, Flavia reconstructs her childhood and her father’s enigmatic life, which ended in a premature death under mysterious circumstances. Like several other films in the Cruzamentos series, Diary, Letters, Revolutions tells a complex story in great detail that in turn becomes a portrait of a larger issue. In this case, the story of one family’s history becomes an illustration of what happened to an entire generation of leftist Brazilian (and South American) activists of the 1960s and 70s. (105 mins., video)
One of the standout works of the New Museum’s 2012 Triennial (The Ungovernables), The Century is both the documentary of a performance and the documentary of an allegory. Without a human figure in view, scraps, debris, and junk are thrown dramatically from one side of an alley to the other—and then a volley begins from the other side. A century of revolution, looting, and conflict is reduced to a compelling abstraction while remaining quite concrete and specific. (9 mins., video)