Two Brazilian Documentaries
"Cidade das Mulheres" (City of Women, 2005) and "Mandinga em Manhattan" (Magic in Manhattan, 2005)
Thursday, March 02, 20067:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Directed by Lázaro Faria
Cidade das Mulheres (The City of Women) offers presents an intimate view of Mãe Stella de Oxossi, one the most influential figures in African religious traditions in Bahia. She leads the Axé Opó Afonjá Candomblé community, which was founded in 1910. In the film, Mãe Stella explains the history of Candomblé in Bahia as well as the matriarchal system of power created and controlled by the women who practice these traditions. The film also pays tribute to Ruth Landes, the North American anthropologist, who went to Bahia in the 1930s to do research. There she was surprised by the spiritual, cultural and economic power held by women in Candomblé. She published her findings in the book The City of Women in 1947. Her thoughts and impressions are illustrated in this sensitive documentary by images of popular festivities which celebrate African spiritual traditions, and the stunning natural beauty of the city of Salvador.
Mandinga em Manhattan tells the story of the internationalization of capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art. The film’s title refers to the “mandinga” or magical quality shown by masters when they perform this art form. Once demonized and outlawed by the Brazilian government, today capoeira is recognized as one of Brazil’s most important cultural treasures. Through interviews with scholars and capoeira practitioners, the film places the history of capoeira in its proper context.
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Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Latin American Institute, World Arts & Cultures/Dance, Spanish and Portuguese