Flowers for Dilma Rousseff

Image: Cassiano Psomas


The cinema presents a synthetic and symbolic view of the 2016 coup up to the present day

When listening to the soundtrack of the film AQUARIUS (2016), directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, I remember the Brazilian political moment in which the film was released. The year 2016, in the fervor of the coup that removed Dilma Rousseff from the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil. For those outraged by the frame set up to remove her from the government, in the name of the holy family and the Christ built by the dominators, watching AQUARIUS, at that juncture, meant projecting our dissatisfaction with the directions that were being given to public administration on the screen. Brazilian. The disappointment with a considerable portion of our representatives in the Federal Chamber of Deputies and Senate. The sessions that voted for Dilma's departure were deplorable, shameful. The precarious quality of most Brazilian politicians was laid bare in sad spectacles. A show of lies and hypocrisy. Fraudsters using the name of the opiate, alienating and ideologized God in the service of domination. Seeing the images of men and women, in discursive farces, in front of microphones turned on for the audience of the Brazilian audience, was a very sad historical event, marking a disappointed society. AQUARIUS, at my reception, represented the indignation of the non-conformists with the frames of the coup plotters of that historic moment. The public's reaction to the sessions I attended proves my position. The destructive moths of our Brazils were represented in some characters of AQUARIUS. The cries of “Fora Temer” echoed in the exhibition halls. They are the subjective impacts of the works of artists attentive to the signs of the times in which they live.

We are in the covid year of 2021 and reaping the consequences of the coup performances of that year. Resorting to the use of metaphors, pests are empowered. The covid and the damage promoted by the Bolsonaro government. We are reaping the bitter fruits of the weeds sown in 2016. Another striptease from a house without a foundation called Brazil. The coronavirus plague is the tip of an iceberg. When we delve into the depths of our welfare state, we encounter precariousness. Neoliberalism on the agenda of a government administration dominated by the deified market. Unemployment and hunger in the case of the national Belindia police. The Brazil of the ufanists who sang “this is a country that goes forward”, mediates images of empty pots. These serve as a beat for a “Bolsonaro Out”. Introductory words triggered by yet another film session. On screen, thinking artists direct their filmic provocations. I make these reflections anchored in the filmic text ALVORADA (2021), directed by Anna Muylaert and Lô Politi. Once again, a cinematographic work returns to 2016 to record historical images of the dramatic and tense moments that resulted in the end of President Dilma's term. In the palatial rooms, the camera wanders through the premises of a place full of uneasiness in the face of the political framework of uncertainties and instabilities. Dilma, in the palatial house, in a context threatened by a non-solar dawn. The end result of the drama, subjectivated by the battered and betrayed woman, we already know. And today we witness the spectacle of setbacks, dismantling and irresponsibility reaped by the “couppeachment” orchestrated by the “elite of social prey”. “From slavery to Bolsonaro”, the elite representatives of “backwardness” jam the “Brasil station”. In the words of Jessé Souza, wealthy elitists promote their violent and anti-popular pacts. It is the empire of the “public sphere colonized by money” and the consequent “creation of the rabble of new slaves as a continuation of slavery in modern Brazil”.

Returning to the artistic light of ALVORADA, it begins with the false moralistic speech of Jair Bolsonaro in the justification of his “yes”. The image of incarnate hypocrisy can also be seen in the filmic document O PROCESSO (2018), by Maria Augusta Ramos. Bolsonaro, in exposing his vote, represented the prey and self-righteousness of whitewashed sepulchral politicians and heralds of masking ideologies. “Patrimonialist moralism” in the country that had slavery as its birthplace. In the name of the divinity of the oppressors, he exhibited his tormenting speech: “For the family and for the innocence of children in the classroom, which the PT never had. For the memory of Col. Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, the terror of Dilma Rousseff. For the Army of Caxias, for our Armed Forces, for a Brazil above all and for God above all, my vote is “yes”! And the speaker of such words reached the Presidency of the Federative Republic of Brazil. Harshness takes over and reaffirms the fact that we live in the country of lost delicacy. On stage, representatives of the “irrational reasons of fascism” are occupying the palatial Alvorada. A dawn that is far from solar, different from the gleaming “Dawn” poetized by the hill of Cartola. And in 2021, we are seeing the barbarities of a bewildered and deadly management. We live in harsh, rude, indelicate times. Listening to the soundtrack of ALVORADA, I hear the gems of Heitor Villa-Lobos, a name from a capital Brazil, serious and profound. Distant from the smallness of its current regency. In one of the final moments of ALVORADA, the image of a bird of prey appears inside one of the compartments of the Palácio da Alvorada. A vulture? A vulture? What stands out is the expressive symbolic meaning of the projected painting. In the world of necropolitics, a scavenger animal appears on the screen, within a space where Brazilian administrative power is exercised. A synthetic and symbolic vision filmed by the sensitive eyes of thinking filmmakers. A feat accomplished by the singularity of cinematographic lenses. Artists think about Brazil with their own languages. Filmic images are showcase texts. The first motivation for writing about ALVORADA was listening to its soundtrack. Pearls of Heitor Villa-Lobos are highlighted. Symphonies, chants and classic sambas from a fine biscuit Brazil, talented, with good little noises. The country of Machado de Assis and Guimarães Rosa, quoted in speeches by Dilma Rousseff throughout the documentary. It is to the sound of “Valsa da Dor”, by Heitor Villa-Lobos, that I feel the most painful when I look at the pitch of the sad spectacle shown by Brazil in 2021. To whom are we committed? Unloved homeland, police case. Who had Marielle killed? I suffer, but I enjoy artistic flames.

Out Bolsonaro!

*Francisco de Oliveira Barros Junior is a professor at the Department of Social Sciences at the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI).



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