These are turbulent times in Brazil, not least for its LGBTQ+ community. In nearly three decades as a congressman, Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro has never concealed his dislike of gay people. “Yes, I’m homophobic – and very proud of it,” he once proclaimed.
In this context, RAI Film Festival presents Queer Brazil!: a special focus on Brazilian queer communities and identity. Over the course of two sessions we bring together films made by anthropologists that explore the intersection between sexuality, anthropological theory, experimental film, in contemporary Brazil.
Queer Brazil! Session 1
by Paulo Mendel & Vitor Grunvald (Brazil, 2018, 25 min)
A multichannel ethnography about Família Stronger, a LGBTQIA+ collective of Sao Paulo’s periphery. It portrays a single day which encompasses both a lunch get-together and one of the historical manifestations against the 2016’s Brazilian coup d’état.
Positive YouTubers – a Machinima Documentary
by Leandro Goddinho (Brazil / Germany, 2017, 15 min)
An experimental documentary film all made online with footage material recorded from the computer desktop screen, about four Brazilians who have created Youtube Channels to talk openly about their HIV status, in a very positive way.
King on, Brasil!
by Luiza Folegatti (Brazil / Germany, 2018, 15 min)
A short documentary featuring six Brazilian Drag Kings, with a focus on how they use social media to build community and to share their work, knowledge and performances.
Queer Brazil! Session 2
Knots and Holes. An Essay Film on the Life of Nets
Mattijs Van de Port / Netherlands 2018 / 74 min
A singular anthropological essay film that observes the various nets we find across different contexts in Bahia (from fishing nets to delicate nets of lace), and the emotions and sensations associated with them. It continues to ponder how these nets materialize principles of connection, of filtering and of patterning. As the scope widens to the nets of longitude and latitude that encircle the globe, and of virtual networks like Grindr, Van de Port wonders aloud how connection, filtering and patterning play themselves out in his own life – as a filmmaker, as an anthropologist, as a-gay-man-in-love.
Keeping alive the tension between openness and closure, knot and hole, grasping and caressing, this film invites its audiences to ponder the observation that all we humans ever do is to impose structures onto life and being, then to find out that neither life, nor being, follow our designs.