Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? Watch B.B. King Tell His Story in 1972 BBC Documentary, 'Sounding Out' Watch B.B. King Tell His Story in 1972 BBC Documentary, 'Sounding Out' Spike Lee Finally Breaks Silence on 'Chiraq' - "Everything I've Done Has Led Up to This Film" Spike Lee Finally Breaks Silence on 'Chiraq' - "Everything I've Done Has Led Up to This Film" New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Brazilian Filmmaker Vicente Ferraz Will Tell Revisionist Tale Of Black Slave Battalion During Paraguayan War

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 10, 2014 at 12:56PM

Brazilian Filmmaker Vicente Ferraz Will Tell Revisionist Tale Of Black Slave Battalion During Paraguayan War
1
Black Soldiers In Tri-Alliance War

Vicente Ferraz, Brazilian director of I am Cuba, the Siberian Mammoth (2005), El Último Comandante (2010) and A Estrada 47 (2013) is reportedly developing a fictional feature film about a slave battalion during the very real Paraguay War, one of the most significant historical events in South America, that helped forge what the modern nations of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay - a conflict fought from 1864 to 1870 that I can't say has been tackled very much on film.


Also known as the War of the Triple Alliance, this was the longest conflict between independent nations of Latin America, lasting from November 1864 to March 1870, when the Paraguayan leader, Marshal Solano Lppez, was killed in the final siege inside Paraguay itself. The war was the result of Paraguay's desire to parlay its riches from the mate tea industry into a transformation from its status as a buffer state between Brazil and Argentina into a full-fledged regional power. This required dominating Uruguay to secure access to the sea, leading to ill-considered invasions of that country, as well as the vastly larger Argentina and Brazil.

From 150 to more than 200 thousand people died in the war, whether on the field of battle or from disease or other consequences of the conflict. Paraguay's male population was devastated, while the societies of all the nations involved were irrevocably altered.

Conventional history states that the war helped to quickly bring an end to slavery in Brazil.

Director Ferraz's film will be titled Bastards, and will take somewhat of a revisionist approach to it ("a mordant act of historical revisionism," as Variety calls it), in that it'll pit slaves being used as cannon fodder during the war against their *masters,* when the son of one of the slave traders is forced to fight alongside the slaves.

Here's a description:

“Bastards” begins with Rafael, the bastard son of Rio’s biggest slave trader being sent by his father to Paraguay to find his legitimate half-brother, who has disappeared in battle. Doing so, Rafael hopes to be recognized as one of his father’s heirs. Lost after the first skirmish, he happens at dawn upon three black soldiers, slaves who had enlisted in return for their freedom. Seasoned soldiers, they protect him, but treat him like a slave. They in turn are being used as cannon fodder. Discovering his father had really dispatched him to his death, Rafael ends up fighting side-by-side with the slaves. 

“He assumes his condition as a bastard, sides with the black slaves, the other ‘bastards’ of the story,” Ferraz said to Variety. “All political processes are grand pacts made by elites. What defines Brazil most is slavery, the ghetto,” he concluded.

The project is currently set up at Tres Mundos Producoes, Ferraz’s Rio-based production company. The director says it'll be a "low-budget movie" that will be financed locally, via the Brazilian government, and will shoot in Portuguese and Guarani, one of Paraguay’s two official languages. Although he says that he plans to have an international cast, with an American actor playing one role as "the cultured slave of a monarchist writer who fought in the war and wrote a chronicle' about it." No word on what black American actors he's considering for the part.

The news comes on the heels of announcements on this site of a number of films on the horizon that will focus on Brazil (whether past or present), both fiction and non-fiction, as well as Cinema do Brasil's revelation of a new initiative that will promote the exporting of Brazilian cinema around the world, to reinforce and expand the participation of Brazilian film productions in the international market by providing non-Brazilian production partners with logistic and strategic support, so as to encourage co-productions and expand markets for the distribution of their productions, and enhance the value of the Brazilian film industry abroad.

And in that regard, Ferraz's Bastards will be a Brazil-USA co-production effort.

This article is related to: Vicente Ferraz


Shadow & ActNewsletter