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February 1996, Week 1


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Gabriela Warkentin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 6 Feb 1996 17:10:14 -0600
text/plain (54 lines)
At 12:52 PM 6/02/96 -0600, you wrote:
>  Planning to make his new video clip in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Michael
>Jackson decided to film in a SLUM (Favela in portuguese) called Dona
>Marta! He will be directed by Spike Lee.
>  But the Rio de Janeiro State Governor (Marcelo Alencar) didn't like
>that attitude! He said that Michael is going to explore the misery in
>other countries for his own greed. And said that if Michael and Spike
>want to film misery, why they don't film a slum in New Orleans or in
>Africa. Marcelo said too that he wants to see the script before
>authorizing the takes, because if a brazilian director wanted to film in
>USA he must send before his script for analysis.
>  People who live in Dona Marta want Michael to show the Rio's misery to
>the world, but the politicians said that it will prejudice Rio's
>candidature to the 2004 Olympic Games!
>  What do u think about that? Are u against Michael?
>  My best regards to you! :)
As a Mexican living in Mexico it has been quite common to hear such
arguments as the one uttered by Marcelo Alencar. We shouldn=B4t forget Luis
Bunuel who made his film Los Olvidados in Mexico, showing the misery (both
physical and moral) of many Mexicans. A lot of people in Mexico were very
upset because he was showing a "bad image" of our country. Things didn't
change that much when the film finally went to Cannes. I think that many
latinamerican countries, that are struggeling to be treated as much more
than drug or misery producing nations, are very likely to react the way
Mexico has done many times and the way Brazil is doing now. Although I don't
necessary agree with these defensive positions, I do sometimes feel a bit
upset when the only thing you hear abput Latinamerica is its misery, its
drugtrafficking (without considering the part American drugconsumer society
plays in the whole issue), etc. It can be really upsetting when some
American or European says "ah you are from Mexico, so much poverty and so
on...". But I am still a believer in intelligence (apart form nationality,
gender or race) and I think that people who really care and think (and I am
not talking about the most educated ones) are not going to see Michael
Jacksons video and conclude that poverty equals Brazil. Maybe I am too much
a believer, but let's keep it that way.
I am sure that as long as S.Lee makes an interesting, respectful piece of
work (such as Bunuel los Olvidados -- and I am not comparing Lee with
Bunuel, but let's give him a chance), as long as he presents his
interepretation, his view of what he is doing, nothing harmful can happen.
What worries me a little is the whole Michael Jackson concept: sort of
Benetton-we are the world-thing. But I would always give them the oportunity
to film, without previous censorship.
Sorry for this long posting, but as a Mexican and Latinamerican one is often
confronted with this issues.
Gabriela Warkentin
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