North America’s Largest Survey Of Brazilian Documentaries Begins at the Wex Next Month

North America’s Largest Survey Of Brazilian Documentaries Begins at the Wex Next Month

Fri, Jan 3, 2014

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Cruzamentos: Contemporary Brazilian Documentary, a presentation of more than 30 contemporary documentaries rarely screened outside of Brazil, will screen January through April, 2014 at the Wexner Center. Organized by Chris Stults, associate curator for film/video at the center, this is the largest series of Brazilian documentaries ever presented in North America and includes 24 feature films and 15 short films, dating from 1974 to the present, as well as several visiting filmmaker appearances.

In preparing for this series, Stults immersed himself in Brazilian culture, cinema, literature, and music to research and plan the project, traveling to destinations around Brazil and working closely with filmmakers, artists, and scholars and others both there and in the United States.

“International audiences may be familiar with Brazilian cinema thanks to recent hits such as Central Station, City of God, or Elite Squad—or, going further back, the Cinema Novo movement of the 1960s and 70s—but relatively few know that the country is producing some of the world's most innovative and captivating documentaries,” says Stults. “This program, which would not be possible without innumerable conversations and collaborations with filmmakers, artists, curators, archivists, writers, scholars, and festival directors—both here and in Brazil—presents an tremendous opportunity to explore this extraordinary wave of significant documentaries.”

Says Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin, “This series promises the first truly in-depth look at the rich documentary film tradition in Brazil, and we are thrilled that following its presentation at the Wexner Center, the series will travel to New York, Boston, San Francisco, and elsewhere.” 

Brazilian filmmakers have historically moved between documentaries and fiction films with regularity, and this series spotlights some of the most significant contemporary filmmakers, including a number who will be visiting in the latter half of the series to introduce and discuss their works in-person: João Moreira Salles (who will provide a keynote lecture for a Cruzamentos symposium on March 26 and will join Eduardo Coutinho in conversation on March 27), Cao Guimarães (March 28), and Karim Aïnouz (April 9 & 10). Other filmmakers of note whose work will be screened as part of Cruzamentos are Leon Hirszman, José Padilha, Glauber Rocha, Rogério Sganzerla, and Walter Salles. Although most of the series will focus on the particularly adventurous work made in the 21st century, several important antecedents will be included, including Twenty Years Later (Eduardo Coutinho, 1985).

The Cruzamentos film series shares a title with the exhibition, Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil, which will be in the Wexner Center galleries February 1–April 20, 2014. The two projects were developed and researched in tandem, and each complements the other. As with the exhibition, the film series aims to extend the ideas behind the Portuguese word “cruzamentos” (literally “crossings” or “intersections,” but also, more poetically, “hybridity”) to contemporary documentary.

Both the film series and the exhibition are among the projects made possible by a grant to the Wexner Center from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2009, which allowed the Wex to embark on an in-depth look at contemporary visual and media arts culture of Brazil, concentrating on the almost 30 years of artistic production in the country since the fall of its dictatorship in 1985. The ongoing initiative—called Via Brasil—also includes a complementary website, a translation of writing by film critic Paulo Emílio Sales Gomes, an academic symposium, a graduate-level seminar at Ohio State, and performing arts events, among other projects.

The schedule for Cruzamentos: Contemporary Brazilian Documentary follows. 

ABC of a Strike  (ABC da greve, Leon Hirszman, 1979–90)
Intermissions (Entreatos, João Moreira Salles, 2004)
preceded by
The Uprising (O Levante, Jonathas de Andrade, 2012)
Wed, Jan 22 | 7 PM

Prisoner of the Iron Bars (O prisioneiro da grade de ferro—Retratos, Paulo Sacramento, 2003)
High-Rise (Um lugar ao sol, Gabriel Mascaro, 2009)
Wed, Jan 29 | 7 PM

Tropicália (Marcelo Machado, 2012)
Sat, Feb 1 | 7 PM

News from a Personal War (Notícias de uma guerra particular, João Moreira Salles, Kátia Lund, 1999)
Bus 174 (Ônibus 174, José Padilha, 2002)
Fri, Feb 7 | 7 PM

A Night in 67 (Uma noite em 67, Ricardo Calil, Renato Terra, 2010)
Fri, Feb 14 | 7:30 PM

Housemaids (Doméstica, Gabriel Mascaro, 2012)
Fri, Feb 21 | 7 PM

Faith (Fé, Ricardo Dias, 1999)
The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away (Terra deu, terra come, Rodrigo Siqueira, 2010)
Wed, Feb 26 | 7 PM

Hélio Oiticica (Cesar Oiticica Filho, 2012)
preceded by
Isle of Flowers (Ilha das flores, Jorge Furtado, 1989)
Thu, Feb 27 | 7 PM

Justice (Justiça, Maria Augusta Ramos, 2004)
Like Water Through Stone (A Falta que me faz, Marília Rocha, 2009)
Wed, Mar 5 | 7 PM

Iracema (Iracema, uma transa amazônica. Jorge Bodanzky, Orlando Senna, 1974)
All Is Brazil (Tudo é Brasil, Rogério Sganzerla, 1997)
Fri, Mar 7 | 7 PM

The Hills of Disorder (Serras da disordem, Andrea Tonacci, 2006)
Should I Kill Them? (Mato Eles?. Sergio Bianchi, 1983)
Fri, Feb 14 | 7 PM

The End and the Beginning (O fim e o princípio. Eduardo Coutinho, 2006)
Look at Me Again (Olhe pra mim de novo, Claudia Priscilla, Kiko Goifman, 2011)
Seams (Karim Aïnouz, 1993)
Fri, Mar 21 | 7 PM

Twenty Years Later (Cabra marcado para morrer, Eduardo Coutinho, 1985)
Thu, Mar 27 | 7 PM​
Followed by a discussion with Eduardo Coutinho and João Moreira Salles

Limbo, Brasília and other short films (Cao Guimarães, 2002-2011)
Two-Way Street (Rua de Mão Dupla, Cao Guimarães, 2004)
Introduced by Cao Guimarães
Fri, Mar 28 | 7 PM

Diary, Letters, Revoltions (Diário de uma busca, Flávia Castro, 2010)
The Century (O Século, Cinthia Marcelle, Tiago Mata Machado, 2011)
Mon, Mar 31 | 7 PM

Santiago (João Moreira Salles, 2007)
Playing (Jogo de cena, Eduardo Coutinho, 2007)
Thu, Apr 3 | 7 PM

Low-resolution press image selection

These images are provided exclusively to the press and may only be used for promotional purposes directly related to the corresponding Wexner Center for the Arts event. For hi-res images or more information, please contact Jennifer Wray at (614) 247-6241 or Erik Pepple at (614) 292-9840.

Jonathas de Andrade, O Levante (The Uprising), 2012

Jonathas de Andrade, O Levante (The Uprising), 2012

Performance documentation
Photo credit: Ricardo Moura
Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo

ABC of a Strike

ABC of a Strike

Image courtesy of Maria Hirszman



Image courtesy of Zeitgeist Films

Prisoner of the Iron Bars

Prisoner of the Iron Bars

Image courtesy of Olhos de Cão



Image courtesy of FiGa Films



Image courtesy of Wide Management

News from a Personal War

News from a Personal War

News from a Personal War

Image courtesy of Videofilmes

Bus 174

Bus 174

Image courtesy of Zazen Produçãoes



Image courtesy of Icarus Films



Image courtesy of Ricardo Dias

The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away

The Earth Giveth, The Earth Taketh Away

Image courtesy of Rodrigo Siqueria

Hélio Oiticica

Hélio Oiticica

Image courtesy of Wide Management

Isle of Flowers

Isle of Flowers

Image courtesy of Casa de Cinema de Porto Alegre