This course will look at key moments in Brazilian history, politics, and culture with an eye to some of the ways that Brazil has changed—and not changed—over time. We will be using films as a way in to a number of key themes. The great majority of films are from the 1990s onward and many are either documentaries or have a documentary element within their fictional framework. The idea is to obtain an overview of Brazil—its problems and its ongoing creativity and resilience, through the films and through a number of Internet articles and key literary texts.
The films include contemporary classics such as Carandiru and Tropa de Elite along with lesser-viewed but extremely interesting films such as Iracema: A Transa Amazônica and O Som Ao Redor.