Memoirs of Prison

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icon-brazilian-cinemaFifty Years of Brazilian Cinema

Memoirs of Prison

  1. Sunday, April 21, 2013 6:30 p.m.
Image from the film Memoirs of a Prison
In this adaptation of his posthumous memoir, leftist intellectual Graciliano Ramos recounts his imprisonment in the 1930s by the right-wing regime of Getúlio Vargas. The film is the second adaptation by Pereira dos Santos of a work by Ramos, who also wrote Vidas Secas. Ramos’ portrayal of his imprisonment is minimalist and subdued, as he transforms from ideological theorist (and suspected Communist) to documentarian of his fellow prisoners. The prisoners serve as a metaphor for Brazilian society, and though they do not know what he is writing in the prison, they want to be in his book. Pereira dos Santos uses a straightforward realism to give the film, like the writing of Ramos, the power to document history. In Portuguese language with English subtitles(35mm presentation)


“Over fifty years have passed since Nelson Pereira dos Santos made his first film, yet he continues to work with youthful enthusiasm on new projects,” wrote Darlene Sadlier in her book on Pereira dos Santos for the Contemporary Film Directors series published by University of Illinois Press. “His career is long and diverse” and “his various projects are unified by a leftist political point of view and a desire to make his audience think as well as feel.” This series is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Brazilian Consulate in Chicago, Office of the Vice President of International Affairs, College of Arts and Humanities Institute, Film and Media Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, African Studies, Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, American Studies, Latino Studies, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Brazilian Association at Indiana University and IU Cinema. Special thanks to the Academia Brasileira de Letras and Darlene Sadlier. This visit is also in partnership with UCLA, Wexner Center for the Arts and City College, New York.