Premiere Brazil!, a collaboration between MoMA and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, takes its title from a sidebar featured at the festival, where many of the films premiered. This annual series continues to introduce New York audiences to original and accomplished new films by Brazilian filmmakers. Film production in Brazil is persistently gaining momentum, and a wide variety of work by both new and more established directors is getting exposure internationally and attaining popularity at home, where Brazilian films account for 30 percent of the movies attended.
This year’s Premiere Brazil! includes an exceedingly well-made domestic drama (Alice’s House) by a documentary filmmaker turning in his first fiction feature; Tata Amaral’s charmingly buoyant story of a girl band (Antônia), her long-awaited follow-up to A Starry Sky; and the North American premiere of the gifted Beto Brant’s newest feature (Stray Dog). The classic selection is Pixote: The Law of the Weakest (1981), the shocking and daring model for all subsequent films about street kids and their perennially horrendous situation. It is accompanied by Pixote in Memoriam, a new documentary on the making of Pixote that provides illuminating insights from the people involved, both then and now. Rounding out the homage to the classic film and its makers is Forbidden to Forbid, a beautifully realized debut feature by Pixote’s writer, Jorge Durán. Although set in a different time, class, and milieu, it too connects young people’s lives to the political and social situation in today’s Brazil. All films are from Brazil and in Portuguese, with English subtitles. All films are New York premieres, and most of the first screenings are introduced by their directors.
Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film; and Ilda Santiago, Director, the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. Special thanks and warm acknowledgement to Fabiano Canosa, advisor to Premiere Brazil!
The exhibition is made possible by George Gund III and Iara Lee, The Ministry of Culture, Brazil, and Marjorie Andrade. Additional support is provided by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York and The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.