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Brazil Celebrates "Black Awareness Day" This Week With Federal Film Screening Series; Recalling "Quilombo"

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 16, 2011 12:27 PM
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Brazil Cinema Negro

In celebration of Brazil's Black Awareness Day ("Dia da Consciência Negra" in Portuguese), which has been celebrated every year, since 1960, on November 20, as the injustices of slavery are reflected on, and contributions by Brazilian of African descent are celebrated... starting today, November 16th, through the 20th, a FREE exhibition of films, followed by discussions with the filmmakers, will travel to venues around the country's Federal District.

Although the 1986 film Quilombo won't be one of the titles shown; and I bring up that film because, Black Awareness Day in Brazil marks the anniversary of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares (1655-1695), the last leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares - Palmares being the 17th century settlement of escaped/fugitive slaves in northeast Brazil, formed after a slave revolt.

Palmares existed for almost 90 years, and would eventually be suppressed in an attack by the Portuguese colonizers.

We've covered Quilombo on S&A in the past, and it should be on your "to-see" list if you haven't already. I believe Netflix has it as a streaming feature, so you're just a few clicks away.

The films that ARE scheduled to screen in Brazil, in honor of Black Awareness Day, are primarily documentaries on the black experience in Brazil - many I've never seen, like Black Atlantic, The Route Of The Orishas by Renato Barbieri.

I'll go do some research on these titles and return with individual profiles.

For now... a nod to Black Awareness day celebrations, all this week in Brazil, which will include events that are both educational and fun for adults and children, as the country reflects on its black history, present and future.

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