Yes, it happened, the Brazilian film festival (Bff) can honestly be said to have had a successful start, last Tuesday, in upanga section of Dar es salaam.
Over eighty people occupied the seats and stools available in the German Cultural Centre’s (Goethe Institut) semi-open outside makeshift theatre. They had come to see the 114-minute dramatic feature, “The second Mother”, which was directed by Anna Muylaert.
Just from the way in which the audience kept quiet and attentive when the “cameras started rolling” right to the end, was certain to please the organisers. Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise to hear the resident Brazilian Ambassador, Carlos Alfonso Iglesias Puente, say after the screening he felt “great” especially for having such an “interesting” audience.
“You could see a variety of people from all segments of the Tanzanian society here. Of course, you had members of the Brazilian community but they were not the majority, which was members of the Tanzanian society.
We identified some students from universities and a mixture of people from various backgrounds. We think it’s a good start,” Amb Puente told the ‘Daily news’ after the screening.
Despite his acknowledgment that at such festivals that usually attract bigger audiences, he still says they can try to build on last Tuesday’s success and are expecting to keep a reasonable number of people coming for the three other screenings.
Ambassador Puente remained confident that the four films selected, are “all very good”. That is why all have received awards for their excellence and are recent releases within the last three or four years.
“They are all different movies, although all of them have something else in common, despite showing a little of Brazil. They all show family relationships, that is father and son, mother and daughter,” Amb Puente explained.
The link between those four movies, he further said is seen within “The second Mother”, in the intricacies of a family in the “very rich Brazilian” society, which he referred to as being full of “problems and social contradictions.”
such situations he says are not only found in Brazil and are very common to local Tanzanian communities. He admitted their striving to select four films that sent out a message, as to how family is important.
However, also stressed that how all four are very different in their own particular way. Before leaving the Ambassador he reminded the ‘Daily news’ that next Tuesday they will be screening Breno silveria’s 96-minute documentary feature, “Gonzaga – from father to son”.
This non-fiction documentary film, he says, reveals the “troubled relationship” that both a talented father and son had. With regards to the screening of “The second Mother”, last Tuesday, the local filmmaker, Deepesh shapirya, told the ‘Daily news’ he found it “very interesting”.
He liked its pace, for although slow, he found a lot of emotion and conflict going on behind the scenes. He welcomed the opportunity to watch a film from Brazil, which are not usually being screened in local theatres, although he believes such films would definitely get the audience, as it did on Tuesday.
Another member of the audience spoken to after the screening was naydia John, a self-employed young lady, who said she liked the film which had a good story. All this talk about the opening of the Bff with this feature drama didn’t stop the ‘Daily news’ wondering why the venues management agreed to allow the screenings to be held on their premises.
When this question was put to the venue’s Cultural Programme Officer, Daniel sempeho, he replied immediately. “According to our mandate we’re here to extend opportunities for Tanzanians and visitors to this country to experience other cultures.
This is one sure way of bridging cultures,” sempeho said. And to make it all worthwhile, he also found the opening film very interesting, admired the quality in shooting, liked the pace in a story he could follow.
He also liked the film because of the similarities depicted in it, as to how class differences functions in a community, such as in Brazil or even here in Tanzania, where there is a section of people with privilege incomes and another that is less privileged.
The Cultural Programme Officer maintains that because of this social economic situation, you find people who have to more or less bend over to make sure they get the benefits from being associated with the other privileged section of the community.
He found it very similar to here, where there’s a situation where certain people are working for better privileged people, who have to endure unacceptable situations. He also found the mixed audience “captivated” and liked the way he could move with the characters in the film, within which he could feel the vibes and situations, which he found interesting.
Also, he liked the “silence humour” which he suggested people could relate to. With such a beginning, he’s expecting another good film next week Tuesday. The Arusha-base event’s Curator and researcher of Cultural Activities, Maliki sufiani, told the ‘Daily news’ the film was very connected to the culture of east Africa.
The way in which the filmmakers tried to show the various classes and how the people linked together. He could see much similarities in these areas right here. “Any local indigenous audience would have certainly liked this film.
It was just like in the days when people would watch Indian films, although they couldn’t speak any of their languages,” sufiani suggested. last but not least, the Brazilian embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, Mauricio Correia, told the ‘Daily news’ he thought the screening was a “huge success” and admitted getting a better attendance to what they had expected.
He thought the film was simply “nice” because of its almost universal theme of the relationship between parents and children. However, he also praised it for the way in which it dealt with the class aspect’s role in Brazilian communities and here.