Performance in Brazilian Documentaries

  • Vinicius Navarro
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


In the first minutes of O fim e o princípio (The End and the Beginning, Eduardo Coutinho, 2005), a narrator explains the making of the documentary we are about to watch: “We came here to make a film for which we have no previous research, no specific subject, no particular location. We want to find a rural community that we may like, and which may accept us Maybe we won’t find one. Then the film will become the search for a place, a topic and, above all, characters.” The voice we hear is that of the filmmaker, Eduardo Coutinho, announcing the beginning of his journey. A shot of a roadside, taken from a moving vehicle, accompanies his narration and introduces us to the sertäo, the dry hinterlands in the northeast of Brazil, where the filmmaker will eventually find his characters. With no script in hand, Coutinho goes on to meet the residents of a small community, mostly senior citizens, who agree to speak with him. What follows is a film made up of lengthy interviews, in which the documentary subjects talk generously about their families, their work, and the hardship imposed by the natural environment. Several reminisce about the past, but nothing extraordinary is revealed in the interviews. O fim e o princípio makes no ambitious claims about its subjects. Instead, the filmmaker seems content to record mundane and unrehearsed testimonies, from which he extracts the concreteness of the world registered by his camera.


Organize Crime Social World Social Reality Urban Violence Speech Genre 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Vinicius Navarro and Juan Carlos Rodríguez 2014

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  • Vinicius Navarro

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