Garrincha, joy of the people

Maria Bonomi, The acrobat, Lithograph on handmade paper, 30,00 cm x 30,00 cm, 2000.


Considerations on the first feature film by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade

“Fun, spontaneous, inconsequential, with an innocence that did not hide Macunaíma’s instinctive cleverness — no model would be more adequate than this one, to seduce a people that, looking around, could not find the serious heroes, the miraculous saints that it needs in the world. day by day” (“Mané e o soson”, Drummond).

Joaquim Pedro de Andrade's first feature film, Garrincha, Joy of the People, from 1963, summarizes a short but already rich cinematic trajectory, full of implications and impasses, both personal and more general, – a distinction that is often difficult to specify, that social progress accelerated times, proposing question after question and forcing left-wing artists and intellectuals to commit themselves to permanent reflection, in an attempt to keep up with the country's agitated political situation, when not to intervene decisively in its historical course.

It can be said that, for the effervescence of the early 1960s, abundantly pointed out and documented, those “three historical coordinates” concurred that are at the root of European Modernism at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, according to Perry Anderson:[1] the horizon of social revolution, the emergence of technical innovations and the opposition to artistic academicism, all present in those bygone days... here, Vera Cruz, in addition to the Atlântida of the chanchadas, and we credit the technological novelty, on the one hand, to the developmentalism of the 50s and, on the other, to the reception of neorealism in Brazil, which taught us to make technically poor cinema, – a technological revolution in reverse, but infinitely progressive.

In this sense, it is not surprising the career of Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, who, with only two or three short films and a feature film, managed to touch the most thorny issues of the time in four years. It was as if, paradoxical as it may seem, the only thing left for the serious, reflective artist was to immerse himself in the cauldron of the time. Thus, if their first projects were not ashamed of being shamelessly familiar, by triggering personal circles and tastes, relatives, friends, books, they also began to open a broader social horizon, fortunately, than that of the good Brazilian family, as we can see, for example, n'The Master of Apipucos in'The Poet of the Castle, both from 1959, with his Bandeira popular and his Freyre de casa-grande. The next short, cat leather, from 1961, deepens the vein discovered, almost as a natural vocation, in the ability to thoughtfully bring poetry and politics together, somewhat ciphered in the homage to the godfather and poet of Pasárgada.

But is Garrincha, in fact, the most complex film of the so-called first phase of the director, a sort of magnified summary (summary?) of his conquests and cavils. Forty years later, we can reduce it to a question and a perplexed answer, felt as the impossibility of conceiving it unique, or univocal, in a single direction.

Between the initial signs and the final signs, as if detached from the body of the film, the opening offers the spectator a sentence whose unfolding we follow, now to one side, now to the other, hanging, a little disconcerted (joão?), but trying to avoid the most disconcerting dribbles. Rhetoric? No. That the film begins exactly like this, with photos of Garrincha (in the first one chasing a dog in the field), moved quickly, to the right, to the left, advancing and retreating, in the style of the player, to the point of almost gaining movement. What else, by the way, would photographs be, their animation seems to tell us, if not lost frames to whose life cinema must once again restore them?

After being dribbled by the dog, we follow the player, in a rhythm of batuque, in the act of great plays, until he starts to be hunted by the opponents, being beaten by the dog. Ending the series of photos of the plays, we see the player lying down, falling, his face contorted with pain under his opponent's knee. Fortunately, we soon found him recovered, always in moving photos, in an apparently less embarrassing situation, embracing first President Juscelino Kubitschek, to the sound of applause, then President João Goulart, and from the latter receiving a plate of food (buchada?), under the disgusted face of a third (covering his nose with his hands) and next to a boy licking his lips: “If we were 75 million Garrinchas, what country would this be, bigger than Russia, bigger than the United States. (Nelson Rodrigues)

Along with the sentence, interrogative? exclamatory? pitiful? makes way for the samba exaltation “Brasil glorioso”,[2] from the Escola de Samba da Portela, unveiling a very Brazilian landscape: adults and children playing soccer, on the beach, on the street, on suburban fields, until the credits start again and finish, in a teletype rhythm now, opening and closing over photos of Garrincha, of vociferous fans, as if to proclaim in headlines to the world the discovery of this glorious Brazil, hovering above the Cold War, “greater than Russia, greater than the United States”.

In this opening, of about 2'30, flanked by the credits, the playwright's phrase (in effect?) is clearly highlighted, which, arranged in a poster, seems, in turn, to offer the film maliciously to the public (buchada? ), in a kind of provocation that will resonate throughout the sequences.

The film's response, anticipated, is already insinuated in the adverse expression of the citizen (governor? advisor?), whose grimace of disgust is caught in Close, on one zoom meeting fulminating, even before we find the object of aversion. Once the buchada is served, the focus goes down to an opposite and smaller expression, of a boy licking his lips. In contrast, therefore, the sight of buchada now seems appetizing… at least for children. Do I tell the buchadinha for the little girl to eat? Or a reminder that the future of the country really depends on a glorious Brazil?

In any case, rejected outright, in advance, the following subsequence provides the cause of the tremendous lack of education: wouldn't the footage of the whole city be hitting the ball indicating that we are already, yes, a people of garrincha? And half blind even, almost getting run over for chasing a ball? Yes, a nation of garrinchas! and not exactly glorious, as the images of the people attest.

Ask the question of openness,[3] We went down to the football locker rooms and participated, alongside Garrincha and the other Botafogo players, in the pre-match warm-up. We leave the locker room and enter, along with the crowd, the “tunnel” that leads to general. Shortly after, the Botafogo team prepares to enter the field, via the tunnel. The parallelism of tunnels already demarcates the field of communion between fans and players, fans and star players, between the people and their “joy”.

Before Communion, however, the sequence lingers in the crowd, accompanying the long anxiety face to face. They are fans who appear at the mouth of the general with skinned shoulders, the shirt pulled down, surely grabbed by the security guards, as they jump over the stadium walls, waiting, always waiting for “joy”, night and day, rain or shine, keeping an eye on in the other tunnel, where the athletes are also waiting to enter. In the field, cameramen, members of the Federation, reporters, all remain in expectation. The film is not in a hurry, nor is it pitying the viewer. The players finally enter the field, the reporters run, interview players, and the star player is also interviewed, when the narration introduces him poetically: “

Garrincha is the name of a cheerful, earth-colored bird. This film intends to show, among other things, that whoever nicknamed Manoel Francisco dos Santos de Mané Garrincha knew both the boy and the bird, and was a poet”.

The lyricism, in a text probably dominated by Armando Nogueira (accompanied by Barretão and the director), is from the stands, as one can sense, typical of our sports chronicle, but it should not obscure the birth of the mythical narrative.

Once the game, or rather the games, started, we await, among the apprehensive, impatient crowd, the star's burst of genius. And the wait is long. The ace, standing still, cold, barely drags himself on the field. Calmly charges a side, walks a little, stops. He starts running, still without the ball, calling the game to him, receiving the ball, running with it, but making mistakes, trying the famous dribbles, to no avail. The crowd, impatient, demonstrates, screams, curses, encourages, and little by little Garrincha begins to respond to their appeals. The feints, the starts, the brakes, are being reborn, and making the people's joy reborn, who begin to be delirious with the idol's dance. Time and again the photos, when they break in the middle of the film, invert their initial meaning: they then function as frozen frames, magical instants and magically captured from the flow of time.

On the other hand, Garrincha is hunted on the field, suffering foul after foul, one harder than the other, to the point that a fan is caught in full “holy shit”. Garrincha lowers his sock, runs his hand over his injured shin, and the same fan does not repress the “holy shit”. Also frozen for immortality, the photos now seem to resemble the idol's mortality.

Finally, many minutes later, the first goal comes, two, three, four, a rain of them, until the tenth, warmly celebrated by Garrincha, who, vibrating out on the field, mixes with the fans. As if responding to the crowd's appeals, and resuming his superhuman condition, the star player reappeared with disconcerting dribbles, ingenious moves, home goals. Euphoria takes over the stadium, the crowd invades the field, another glorious achievement, and the idol, in the guise of a cup, is carried in the arms of the people, consecrating communion. The nation and its symbol, the people and its flag, are but one body and one spirit.

The long sequence that we have just described, from the locker room to winning the cup, about 11 minutes, is all rhythmic, ascending rhythmic towards the final apotheosis. In it, not only Garrincha is presented, but also his people, whose face reflects the progress of the ace. And the sequence, practically silent, excels at reproducing the play of lights and reflections that takes place between them, with the idol answering popular prayers. Apotheotically charged, we cannot help thinking that, really, if we were a people of garrinchas... At the same time, the shots of fans, in small groups or individually, with their ugliness, sometimes comic, sometimes moving, seem to go in the opposite direction. glorious Brazil? with this people? these humble people, who make you want to laugh and cry? these thousands, millions of toothless, malnourished, destitute?

The playwright, perhaps annoyed by the involuntary idiocy, could object,[4] that this is not yet a people of garrinchas. But are we really not that anymore? as the film insists. As if the whole city was not enough to play ball, the sequence warns, in the long wait for the burst of genius, attentive to the wrong passes, the frustrated dribbles, the poor shots, that Garrincha is not always Garrincha, that the flag also has its half-stick day … Good or bad, the humanity of the myth reappears in her, hands on her hips, standing still, frozen, almost oblivious, legs crooked, walking from one side to the other, slowly, starting to run, getting it right, trying, and failing, and suffering in the process. meat the enemy carnations.

Rhetoric? No. That third sequence opens with Manoel Francisco dos Santos, barely facing the camera, humbly testifying about his status as a national deity. The statement, sad, sad, makes one think less of the “happy little bird, the color of earth”, than of the swallow of his poet namesake…[5] Nailed to the wall (crucified?), Garrincha seems to reproduce the traditional sermon of a leader about the noble mission of making the people happy, a mission (passion?) that Sua Alegria, even “somewhat tiring of the life of an idol”, has to “endure ( …) because the people want it, and for them it is good”.

The mere occurrence of the word “povo”, before Garrincha concludes his statement, changes the scenario almost miraculously. We contemplate the city and its movement from above, its trams, its cars, its bustling population. The documentary, marks the narration over, proceeds, with the camera hidden, to a test of “Garrincha's popularity”. Thus, when leaving the National Bank of Minas Gerais, where he goes “once a week for finance matters”, the star soon finds himself surrounded by fans, incorporated into the popular mass, “without understanding the process of identification”. The narration obviously fails to understand how the star player was recognized by passers-by in the city, but the scene of Garrincha in the VW, isolated in the middle of the crowd, does not reach the mystery of the transubstantiation, dressed as he was in white, and in the almost on the verge of being raised in the people's calyx, it re-edits the same adoration of the lawn. More than in the “people's car”, Garrincha hovered transported in his arms.

Glory aside, Mané maintains the same simplicity as a cradle (manger?), and the fourth sequence reconstitutes his humble way of life in Pau Grande, his hometown, – born at the foot of the Petrópolis mountains and the English fabric factory, – where he arrives in a VW Beetle, finally freed from the hordes of worshipers, and is received into the bosom of the family, consisting of a woman, seven daughters (“seven dribbles of destiny”… oh! “when he expects a little boy with bow legs”), with whom he likes to dance Nat King Cole, and the speaker mainá, who every now and then calls, tries to call the star, “Mané Garrincha”, in addition to always ironically invoking one of his rivals on the pitch, “Vasco”. Garrincha’s house – when it doesn’t become a “tourist attraction” during the World Cup or a “political center” during elections, “when candidates appear, trying to exploit the player’s popularity”, – barely differs from the other houses in the working-class village, if not perhaps for the air of a house of miracles, with the walls of the room laden with pennants, portraits, medals, trophies, a kind of ex-votos, in short, confirming its status as a national pilgrimage point.

But it seems that it is outside the home, if the narration is to be believed, that our hero takes place, playing barefoot, only in shorts on the dirt field, with his childhood friends, Pincel and Suíngue, playing “like boys – happy and without commitment". After the soccer game at Maracanãzinho, watched by children on the surrounding hills, it's time for a “glass of beer” (coca-cola, that's what it is!), paid for by the losers at the “city bar”.

From the “life of poor boys” to the life of simple poor people, such as weavers in the English factory, where his childhood friends still work, as we can see, only Garrincha escaped, “a bad worker”, capable of “sleeping amidst the infernal noise of the machines”. ”, but whose escalation of goals saved him from his weekly scheduled resignation, always according to the narration, and lifted him to the heights of another national and popular myth, President Vargas, at the headquarters of Esporte Clube Pau Grande.

From the small town to the big city, from amateurism to professionalism, with its intensive training load, to the sound of Bach[6] in the film (desire to escape?), and its prison concentration regime, as the fifth sequence shows us, we remain in front of the simple, cheerful and earth-colored man (local color?), always ready to collegially provoke his colleagues; of the man whose “glories of champion he continued to keep in a modest place and were not capable of altering the simplicity of his life”; of the man who never forgot popular customs, eating with his mouth open, wiping his mouth on a towel, his teeth with his fingernail... so simple-minded (natural? color of the earth?) that he wasn't even aware of his own physical exceptionality, of the “knee on gust”. It was only “reading the newspaper”, recalls the narration, that he came to know that “he had crooked legs”.

Studied and treated as a “case”, according to Dr. Nova Monteiro, in the sixth sequence, in which the chiaroscuro of precarious lighting, involuntarily perhaps mimicking the fumes of Science, the crooked ace is as ecumenical as the people he incarnates, not despising a good healer, nor the company of the holy warrior, with whom the ace, on horseback in bed, shares the room , – in a strange shot, with the camera behind (on the back?). It is thus, as the seventh sequence attests, with Garrincha and Dona Delfina's arruda, with everyone attached to the radio and national belief, from presidents to prisoners, not to mention the delegation, that the country arrives in Chile, in order to re-edit the feat of 58, “on the wings of superstition”.

And we arrive at the epic of 62, in the full cosmogony of football, with its gods and fetishes, which from superstition to the selection is a magic trick. The eighth sequence proclaims Garrincha's feats loud and clear, blaming him almost exclusively for the second world championship, except in the final, against (former) Czechoslovakia, when Garrincha fell ill (Pelé had already dropped out in the second match, with groin strain) granted if it firmed the national assembly.

In the ninth sequence, bi raised, we move on to the celebrations, in squares and palaces. The players' euphoria, the people's joy, and vice versa, the two-time champions ride in an open car, as if on their way to official tributes, a banquet with politicians and authorities. Finally, photos of the then governor of Guanabara, Carlos Lacerda, smilingly handing Garrincha the promised prize, the mainá, as he had announced, if he brought the ace the second world championship in Chile.

The documentary about Garrincha could well end here, and it does, in a way, gloriously close Garrinchiada. In the next sequence, the penultimate one, it is the football phenomenon that enters the field. But in an almost unfair entry. How else to explain the irruption of 1950? Or understand the passage – unjustified – by the narration over, what good or bad had been sewing together the images, no matter how aerial the bridges were?[7] Thus, the poetic nomination of Garrincha (first block) is followed by his accomplishments, and his popularity (second block), fame which, in turn, was unable to change the simplicity of his life since Pau Grande (third block), which moved to the big city ten years ago, when he came to train in Botafogo (fourth block), where we find him subjected to professional life, the rigors of concentration, under the prescriptions of the Medical Department, which attests to the exceptionality of the ace (fifth block), that doesn't just put faith in doctors, it has its own private prayers, beliefs and superstitions that it shares with the whole nation (sixth block), including the delegation that arrived in Chile to try the bi (seventh block). From the seventh to the eighth…

Brazilian players, moments before starting the game, heard General Mendes de Morais, then mayor of the Federal District, conclude his speech: “I did my duty, building this stadium. Now you fulfill yours by winning the World Cup!”

We thus naturally passed from the euphoria of 62 to the fleeting euphoria of 50. What happened? How to sanction the chronological turn towards the past, and the political turn towards the explanation of the football phenomenon (ninth block)?

The jump was risky... but it was worth taking. Why?

It so happens that, while rejecting Nélson Rodrigues' idiocy, the film did not have an insidious enemy: the fascination exerted by the character, by the images of national and popular myth, and that the documentary, with all its aversion to buchada, helped to justify. As if the story of the exceptional boy who comes out of nowhere, from Maracanãzinho de Pau Grande, and reaches glory Urbi et orbi, with the country winning the second world championship, without changing a bit of its naturalness, the film, in the absence of original images, still animated the archival photos by its innovative montage. Result: the fascination could only grow over the course of the sequences, and out of proportion, on the verge of seeming to falter the negative response of the film to Rodrigues's buchada.

Is it really that if we were a people of garrinchas...? Swallow the bush? Impossible! So how can we resist the magic of images, the feat, cinematographically recorded, of the bi epic, still alive in the eyes and hearts of Brazilians? Even more, how to resist the humanity of the myth, recorded by the documentary itself, and engraved in the face of the people? How to finally break this circle, this knot of refusal and fascination, of seduction and aversion, ankylosed in the very nerves of the theme?

Troubleshooting was necessary...

In the penultimate sequence, balloons rise and proclaim “Viva o Brasil” on a poster; Maracanã is all party; General Mendes de Morais delivers his fateful speech, the decision begins, and immediately the second goal for Uruguay… Silence. Goalkeeper Barbosa slowly gets up, and a single heart beats in unison the national mourning. At this moment, the film takes advantage of a common rhetoric in football. The analogy with war, however, sounds more intriguing: “Football exercises a power over the people's emotions that can only be compared to the power of wars — it takes an entire country from the greatest sadness to the greatest joy”.

What you see, however, is a country plunged into the deepest depression.

What lesson to take? If we got out of it through war, well, we can also get out of depression through football! The political lesson, of mass manipulation, is classic, and what the sequence does is translate into powerful images the variable thermometer of human agglomerations (fascist? barbarian? primitive?), whose manifestations can rise and culminate in violence, or fall ( rising) to beatitude.

To explain the phenomenon of such extreme reactions on the scale of human emotions, to explain the “power” it exerts over the crowds, sometimes enthusing them to the point of ferocity, when the stadium becomes a Roman circus, sometimes exciting them to ecstasy, under the organ by Frescobaldi, when the stadium becomes a temple, and the warriors seem to convert into devotees, the narration summons two theories, one psychoanalytical and the other psychosocial, two theories that are also extreme in their own way: the less sensible one, which compares the ball to the “breast or mother's womb", thus justifying the "ardor of the dispute" for its possession, — an object of desire that could lead to blind war, as seen in the scenes of pitched battle, — to the "most sensible", namely: "the people uses football to expend the emotional potential accumulated by a process of frustration in everyday life”.

Adopted by the film, the psychosocial theory accuses the sublimation of violence via football, the instant in which the pacifying organ returns and we contemplate the almost mystical enrapture of the faithful fans. From a (violent?) storm, the camera captures, in contrast, the malnutrition spit on the faces of two young people, one black and one white, their thin bodies gently rising and falling (keys? played? manipulated?), anticipating the future " glorious".

From this psychosocial point of view, the glorious Brazil of the garrinchas obviously depends on the frustrated Brazil of everyday life; the joy of the people, the sadness of the people. Sad the people?! Is your only joy football? This is what the final shots of the penultimate sequence may indicate, showing the end of the game, with the last fans and vendors leaving, the papers flying, the stadium emptying melancholy. The fan, looking desolately at the empty field, even turning his back, dissimulating, when he realizes he is being filmed, stamps the general feeling of the end of the game, back to “reality”, a word whose mention quickly and symptomatically comes down to the camera, focusing on the entrance, dark, of the “tunnel” of the general. Hole in reality? Hole of reality? The film seems to warn about the limits of this glorious Brazil of claws, always inflating and deflating, day after day, invariably and inevitably.

If the film ended there, in another possible ending, and certainly the documentary about football ends, we would remain on the traditional plane of criticizing alienation, the political use of football, etc., the childishly communist rejection of Nélson Rodrigues' idiocy. But not. The film ends with the return of the people and their joy, arriving by train, bus, truck, invading the Maracanã, almost making it rise and spin, like an immense balloon...

Long live glorious Brazil!? What would have happened? Did the film succumb once and for all to myth, stunned by the activated images? Did you swallow the rodriguista buchada?

The return of the film to its problematic fascination, without giving up its first reaction, re-proposes the complexity of the theme.

Glorious Brazil is a myth. And this myth, encoded in the playwright's stuff, must be, like all myths, duly demythologized. Until then we are all in agreement. But isn't Garrincha also a myth? Doesn't his macunaimic “cunnings” make his humble portrayal suspect? Doesn't the “joy of the people” deny the ordeal that his words, his shroud-like expression, hint at? Yes, there is no doubt. The film itself, incidentally, ciphers the trajectory of mythification. In comparison with the first and second sequences, practically “silent”, in the two subsequent ones, “spoken”, — from Garrincha's popularity test, including his testimony, to let's say his certificate of humility in his homeland, the verbal narration dominates , stitching together the images, commanding, so to speak, good reading. Standing lyricism aside, it is worth noting the old mythical resource, founded on the immobilization of time. Under the pretext of walking from the present to the past, one leaves a sketch and ends up in another, the same one, in fact, frozen, next to another myth, Getúlio Vargas, on the wall of the club. Frozen, thus, in time and space, and as if finally reunited, the father and son of the poor...

From another angle, however, doesn't Garrincha represent at the same time the national affirmation, the affirmation of the genius of the Brazilian people?[8] Doesn't he bring that hint of improvisation, bravado, buffoonery... of Brazilianism, in short, recognizable in other "geniuses" of the land, such as Villa, Oswald, Glauber, Darcy, etc.? Indeed, indeed… What is more: does it not also represent the popular assertion? Isn't Garrincha Mané, that is, the modest man, the humble man, the simple soul, the swallow who, playing and playing, spent his life idly, idly? And isn't it Mané — the people's flag? Affirmation of its almost limitless possibilities? of its almost incomparable vitality? A progressive myth, then! a leftist myth!

Leftist myth!? But isn't every myth, like “non-politicized speech”, “essentially” right-wing?[9]

By Garrincha's legs! If precisely, to escape the power of the images, the fascination of the myth, the film had risked the narrative leap, problematizing football, it succumbed now, bitterly, problematizing the problematization… giving up the game.

Apparently yes, apparently the ending seems to prove the reason for Rodrigues's idiocy, as if, exhausted from the game, from the many reversals on the scoreboard, the film in the final minutes gave way definitively to the opponent's comeback... That is, if the arrival at the stadium was just the arrival at the stadium . But not. Commanded by the naturally allegorical samba-plot of the Império Serrano Samba School, “O Império Desce”,[10] the popular invasion of Maracanã also figures the Revolution. Thus, under the revolutionary call to go down the hill, what we glimpse is the people effusively taking over our Summer Palace.

It is not, nota bene, from the famous communist jeremiada. Ah, if only that strength, that whole union were destined for another target! Because the figuration has nothing to complain about. On the contrary, the documentary really ends in a party, and a revolutionary party! (AsThe Brazilwood Man? But that's another five hundred years away!) What would it mean to represent the Revolution in this way, festively? A way to nationalize it? Brazilian Revolution? Even ambiguous (dialectic?), it was the ultimate answer that the film offered to the glorious Brazil of Rodrigues' idiocy.

Utopia, joaquinian idiocy? believe that the revolution, with or without millions of garrinchas, would also pass through football?

More than discussing the eventual effectiveness or innocence of the representation, when it brings football, as a popular and national celebration, closer to the Revolution itself, then on the agenda, it is important to recognize the daring position of the film, capable of recognizing the potential for emancipation in the very forms of alienation.

But that's not all. The tape ends, in fact, with the classic photo of Garrincha swinging in the nets. Thus, frozen in a ball in the last shot, that is, in “maternal breast or womb”, the film also recognizes the political force of the myth, hence the concern of all with the fate of the idol, whose possession is thus ardently disputed, both on the right (Carlos Lacerda, Nélson Rodrigues) and on the left (Jango, Joaquim Pedro).

Aware of the myth and the political dispute over its ownership, we could go a little further and deepen the unseen impasse. Admitting the myth, how to separate it from the people, once the identification is ingrained? How to separate from the people their joy, their flag? Myth too — the people!? And every myth must not be demythologized!?

In this case, the face of aversion, in the midst of Jango's exploration of the star's celebrity, could be read in another key, being rather directly condemning populism, a prison to which the mainá's cage, always erupting in association with politicians, whether at Garrincha's house or after the bi's banquet. That said, the mainá’s catchphrase, “Vasco”, could then allude to populist adventurism and its discovery of America, the incomparable advantages of catching, like a little bird, a popular and national myth, whose political siege is visible when the circle closes. focus on the cage, and Garrincha, bending down to see the bird, appears, finally caught.

Well, the criticism was addressed to right-wing populism, one could argue, to Lacerda's populism... considering this mini-allegory of the earth-colored bird swallowed, I mean, caged by the olive-colored crow. We have to distinguish, now! the populism of the left and the right… But what about Jango, sharing the buchada with Garrincha? Didn't he also take advantage of the star's popularity? Undoubtedly. And wasn't Jango supported by the left? Was it not the same people, by the way, who were being called to the stage and to the screens by the new cinema?

In that case, would we then be facing a critique and self-criticism of left-wing populism?!

In other words, the question, delicate, thorny, was how to admit the myth without admitting the lie, or how to admit the people without admitting populism... Aporetic? The film condemns the political exploitation of myth (and of the people, by extension), but it does not go so far as to condemn the “exploitation” by myth (and by the people) of its political exploitation. With the people's flag untouched, one does not even consider, as the Poet says, his “instinctive tricks of Macunaíma”. Missing elements? Certainly not. So as not to descend into the biographical swamps, which are actually public, – could the film explore, let's say, the idol's “guerrilla temperament”, his dislike for “the training routine”, the famous “tendency to put on weight”; the taste for joking, truly “gluttonous”, not even off the field, macunaimically speaking, something that had already become folklore, but the taste for games even on the field, not only in training with colleagues, but also with opponents , precisely those jokes that made the people so happy, who never tired of seeing him pass the defender and wait for him again, poor joão, exclusively for the pleasure of feinting him again, as many times perhaps as he could , there were no teams repressing his excesses, his and the rival.

If one were to finally explore in depth, for example, Garrincha's playfulness, there would certainly loom in him traces of the malandro's non-characterism. Macunaima, a tape that Joaquim Pedro would make a few years later, in 1969, after The Father and the GirlOf 1966.

It wasn't the case, of course. Garrincha was far, far away, a stroke away Macunaima...[11] The criticism of the political exploitation of the idol's popularity could not prosper until the criticism of populism, which in a certain way implied the criticism of the people. In other words, the criticism of a certain vision of the people, and of the idols that embody it. In short, it depended on a huge disappointment... or an earthquake, to remember Glauber and his earth in trance. Discarded then, as anachronistic, the criticism of populism, at least in the systematic sense that the expression came to have after the coup of 64, and the coup within the coup of 68, of the end of the illusions of the left, because, however, we can intuit a certain suspicion in the air, as if on the surface of the film, hovering over the deepest abysses of left-wing myth and populism.

As we have seen, the director responds to the playwright's unconditional “would be”, at least with an interrogative, unconditionally doubtful “would be”. Would then this country of garrinchas be completely rejected? In terms of the Rodrigues idiocy, of the glorious Brazil, “bigger than Russia, bigger than the United States”, yes. At the same time, in less ululating terms, this is not what the film says, fascinated by and by the “joy of the people”. That it was difficult to resist the seduction of the myth, there is no doubt, of the birdlike boy who spent his life playing with the ball, idly, idly, if not almost impossible not to give in to the poetry and humanity of his swallow-like nature. Even in the most human moment perhaps, most defenseless, trying to warm up, still cold on the field, and hit, and missing, ball after ball, even in that most vulnerable moment, under thousands of anxious eyes for the expected snap, until that moment contributes to the fascination exerted by the idol. Fascinated, then, by the film, and fascinating, as if it were a victim of its own poison, as has been the case since the dawn of cinema and its more than dodgy art of seduction, the question could not but be asked almost obsessively: how to distinguish the myth – by the images – of the popular affirmation?

In other words, would cinema be capable of demystifying? Isn't cinema par excellence a myth factory? Perhaps another type of cinema… Cinema-verit? despite the technical and formal difficulties?[12] After all, the film surprises the humanity of a sports idol, probing a little of his life on and off the pitch, as well as that of his fans, lingering over snapshots of popular types, almost forgetting himself in the middle of the crowd. This is when sometimes he doesn't threaten to leave the axis and go to take care of the workers of the English factory, or the players subjected to a totalitarian concentration regime.

And sometimes even leaving, when it comes to football, for example, as a mass phenomenon. Cinema verite, without a doubt,[13] but true cinema like that... so assembled? Where's the spontaneity? Where is the truth of spontaneity?[14] This, believing that a lengthy and “mute” sequence like the first one, right after the opening, the sequence of the play of lights and reflections between the idol and the fans, caught in the long expectation by the burst of genius, could be read in only one direction … when we know that (in fact?) many of the sayings and contradictions of the film are concentrated in it, in which the Garrincha myth is surprised in its duplicity, in its humanity and superhumanity, in which the people are surprised in its duplicity, in its glory and its misery, in which even cinema is surprised in its duplicity, in its ability to veil and unveil.

Cinema verite aside,[15] one of the strengths of Garrincha, Joy of the People resides in the highly elaborate montage. And diverse. In it we find both the assembly of the first diptych, The Poet of the Castle e The Master of Apipucos, continuous, naturalistic, – when, for example, the VW Beetle, previously stopped, isolated by the crowd of fans, opens the next scene, arriving at Pau Grande, or when, in street celebrations, the players in an open car seem to be heading towards to the authorities' podium, - regarding the assembly of cat leather, predominantly ideological.

Thus, after the Uruguayan goal, Barbosa rising slowly, painfully, heavier than a thousand anchors, sailors, with their backs turned, make one think as much of the betrayal of the anticipated party as of the Brazilian squadron taking on water… like the girl taken next, also making water... through the eyes, tearful. During the banquet, it doesn't hurt to remember, Prokofiev's music, so appropriate and festive, is interrupted to give way to barely heard rumors, Garrincha eating someone else, barely seen, almost hidden by other guests; parallel conversations, whispered between authorities, between a politician and D. Hélder Câmara; Carlos Lacerda in the background (conspiracy?), in a montage indicating that behind the curtains, the palatial celebrations, another game was also going on — political, serious, serious.

The most visible novelty is the original use of archival photos, whose animation makes them almost naturally incorporate themselves into the film, and can be seen as redivive photograms. Thus, as we have already said, the photos of Garrincha, in the opening, imitate the player's dribbling, to the right, to the left, retreating and advancing, braking, in the same rhythm, therefore, of the plays that consecrated the ace. The euphoria of the players on the field for winning the double is another feat of the encouraging montage, truly invigorating, as well as the sadness for the loss of the 50 Cup, in a slow and painful rhythm, ending up in the withdrawal of a room of desolate players, with suitcases in the floor open, overturned and overturned, the clothes thrown.

Animated by the montage, the photos sometimes freeze, and give food for thought, immobilized. Thus, the photo of Garrincha's legs and a little boy with crooked legs, side by side, following the scientific exposition of the "peculiarity of this great player", makes us think, firstly, if it is really a matter of "peculiarity" and, secondly, secondly, as a result, whether it is convenient to base the country's glory on this supposed national “peculiarity”. To emphasize how prisoner of superstition (of backwardness?) the country was, immediately after JK's plan, together with friends and advisers, all tied to the radio, there is a photo of… prisoners. In the bi street celebrations, after raising the cup (on film), pictures of hands reaching out appear, as if desperate to touch the glory of Brazil, then giving focus to faces, equally afflicted, and finally to the face of a boy, looking to the other side, ours, amazed, misunderstood… Glorious Brazil – why?

But the most finely ideological montage was yet to come. Amidst the palace celebrations, unexpectedly appear (they do haunt, that is) two photo appearances of Lacerda. How to understand them?

In addition to giving figuration to the historical nickname of Corvo,[16] the two apparitions, one more sinister than the other, at least zoom meeting The brusque (coup-like?) character of the second, illustrate the ascendant trajectory of the carioca publicist, his presidential ambitions (between plans by JK and Jango) and his military conspiracy. Between a shot of Jango, with the cup in hand and whispering to Garrincha, and one of Lacerda between journalists and photographers, in the background, there is a shot of a sentry at the door, guarding the palace, – explicitly indicating the political crisis -military ongoing in the country, spurred on by Corvo vivandeira. To top off the bad omen, the abuses, true visages, change the atmosphere of the festivities, carrying it to the point of foreshadowing violence, whether in football, shown in the following sequence (when discussing its character as a mass phenomenon), or in politics, whose democratic order, to say the least, would break with the military intervention crowed by Corvo.[17]

If accurate editing can contradict the postulate of direct cinema, of a pure cinema verité, how can such an investment in editing be explained? The lack of sufficient filmed material explains the use of archives. But it doesn't explain everything. At the root of the resource there was also the aesthetic conviction, shared with a good part of Cinema Novo, that montage and truth were not necessarily opposed. Not only were they not opposed, but who knows, on the contrary, maybe it was only montage, dialectic, vertical, betting on the conflict between image and sound, capable of bringing to light the deepest abysses of cinematographic art, which should involve all serious reflection on popular myths.

Mounted from top to bottom, to the point of practically animating, as we saw, the photo archives, and perhaps sensing the difficulties of dealing with popular myths on the left, and dealing with them above all in possession of a seductive vehicle (mythologizing?), Garrincha, Joy of the People does not back down from the conflict between sound and image. And a simple “slip” opens the new horizon. At some point in the fourth sequence, the narration over mentions beer as a trophy paid by the losers to the winners of the soccer match at Maracanãzinho de Pau Grande, and the scene at the bar shows Garrincha and the three friends drinking… coca-cola (without drinking it, for the sake of truth).

The contradiction, too ululating, obliges to brake. Who tells the truth? the sound? the image? In such a case, the answer is symmetrically howling. And the question arises: if, paradoxically, it is the narration, mythical, edifying, contradicted by the image that lies (since it is coke and they pretend to drink it)… who to believe? Given the impossibility of automatically aligning ourselves with one or the other, which is always comfortable, it is convenient to at least admit that the truth does not inevitably reside in the images, as the most ardent defenders of an absolutely spontaneous cinema verite might naively suppose at first sight.

Already in full exercise in Botafogo, in the following sequence, the image disallows the sound, musical narration. The hard training, to the sound of a Bachian fugue, undoubtedly ironizes the situation, along with suggesting that the dance on the field depends on a damn hard. At the same time, the montage game can also reproduce another game, more specifically the relationship between spectacle and audience. From above, as we know, from the angle of the crowd, the music, joy joy, can be from the spheres, from below, from those who run after another sphere... Without prejudice to the ironies used, the film exposes the conflict, the contradiction itself between image and sound.

With one trail belying the other, who to believe? Even more: what would this game of denials, plotted and exposed by editing, be proposing? Taken to the last consequences, wouldn't the whole film be under suspicion?

In addition to the various lessons,[18] isn't this, however, one of the great merits of the documentary? Conflicting image and sound, sound and image, calling attention precisely to the impossibility of natural adherence to one or the other, wouldn't he institute the truth as a process, as a construction? Assembled, constructed, wouldn't that be, through dialectical montage, the only way to approach knowledge?

The montage game, dialectical, betting on contradiction, questioning the convergence, almost naturally expected, between sound and image, can unfold in other moments of the film. Thus, in the penultimate sequence, after presenting the less sensible theory of the “maternal breast or womb”, scenes of a real pitched battle follow, anticipated by a line of policemen with their eyes on the ball, demonstrating that the dispute contains a latent violence (loving?); and the “more sensible” theory of sublimation, of the accumulated frustration of the people, and that a discharge of energy would be expected, plays with the rapture of the fans, pacified by the organ in the background.

And what about the film, then, capable of taking people from the greatest joy to the greatest sadness? Had to remember 50 right now, after 62? And so, in the midst of effusive demonstrations for the conquest of bi, when exactly was the historic overthrow wanted to be erased? Communist spoilsport thing?

Finally, shamelessly exposing the differences, divergences, contradictions between the bands, wouldn't the film be reproducing, in its internal, torn, contradictory conflict, the very duplicity of the myth, of the people, of the people and their flag? Wouldn't he be reproducing the duplicity of cinema itself, of the myth of cinema?[19]

The questions, many of which are against the film, do not necessarily have an answer in the complex frame of the film. But the fact that they are there, almost like a mite, the fact that they demand critical confrontation, gives an idea of ​​the relief and daring of the documentary.

* * *

The negative answer to the stuffed sentence, worked and reworked throughout the film, one might ask, with good reason – would it have been Joaquim Pedro's? Would it really have been a response… personal, that is to say, authorial? The film did not depart from an original project, invited to direct it, upon arriving in Brazil after studying in Europe and the United States, by Luiz Carlos Barreto and Armando Nogueira; the script turned opus to ten hands; much of the documentary triggers archival photos and film; voice narrated text over, with the signature of both preceding that of the director, and which serves as a guide for the spectator, evokes that lyricism from the bleachers that we are already familiar with, but somewhat embarrassing to those who know the filmmaker's origins, nourished from the cradle in the best tradition of our poetry Modern. Finally, the shortcomings to authorship would be countless.[20] by Joaquim Pedro, so as not to get involved in darker discussions, about to what extent or to what extent it can exist, without compromising the genre too much – author documentary…[21]

We could claim that in Garrincha whether certain trademarks of the director are already recognized or refined, such as lyricism and politics, in sober articulation; the problematization of the themes in vogue, such as the people and their culture, seen under the double aspect of “alienation” and authenticity; allusions to the political scene; the elaborate montage, in its dialectical way; cinema with a reflective, investigative bent; even the somewhat manic constructivism, visible in the detail, because, in the end, for example, the number 7 shirt only swings into the net, in the classic photo, after the… seventh goal!

Authorship aside, however, as far as one can speak of authorship in a naturally collective art such as cinema, we can recognize in the documentary a historical matter capable of configuring, beyond or below the thematic and/or stylistic unity, a certain objective unity, capable of re-proposing the issue on more materialistic grounds, a certain ethical-political unity, say with Glauber Rocha, in an introduction to a manifesto book released in the same year as the film.[22]

The living presence of history, which helps so much to clarify aesthetic debates, was evidently not on display or available. It was as if revealing itself, thanks in large part to the artistic works themselves, as their foundations were dug and excavated. Good or bad, right or wrong, what was thought and raged was a colonized country, a people who were poor, alienated, underdeveloped, but potentially rich, capable of deciding their own destiny, as indeed did a close and brotherly people, the Cuban, whose then-recent revolution inspired believers everywhere.

It is not by chance that much of what distinguishes the 60s is due to the revolutionary impulse that the arts took in the period. And even less by chance, in a pre-revolutionary era, which looms large for left-wing artists and intellectuals, under the need or desire to go down to the people, with all the mistakes, the question of popular culture, and with all the differences , from art to art, from author to author, from work to work. Fictional or fictionalized, created or imitated, recycled or revolutionized, denied or affirmed, everything could be said and done, except ignoring it.

The aesthetic and political debate about popular culture, in its diverse unity, from theater to cinema, passing through literature, visual arts, music, was not new. The question, of a complex nature in former colonies, has deep roots in Brazil, which can be referred to Modernism, to Romanticism itself, if not to Arcadianism and the Mineira Conjuration, always keeping the due proportions, in which it begins to develop the “people” and the “nation”.[23]

What is new, so to speak, is that the advance of the social movement in the 60s, excited by a developmentalist decade, politicized the issue, transforming it into a national issue, that is to say, a matter of national liberation, more or less in unison with the Cuban promise and rising third-worldism. The “colonial situation”, as Paulo Emílio expressed it in a famous article from 1960,[24] set the tone of the discussions, and the cinema that was desired, and that had been fermenting since the congresses of the 1950s, and began to happen in the films of Nelson Pereira dos Santos, exploded with Cinema Novo, which moved away from the more cepecist theses dogmatic, but could not escape its historical gravitation, when the spectrum of the popular (spirit of the times?) hovered.

What's the way out? or the exits? Respectable, of course, committed that they should be, in principle, with the new cinema. One of them was provided by Nelson Pereira himself, with his popular lyrics, his man of the people song, which has roots in the cultural agitation of militant communism and found fertile ground in the 1950s and 1960s.[25] Nelson's temptation was great, and cat leather I had already partially accomplished this journey from the general to the particular, from the social to the individual, without losing sight of either term.

Garrincha, or Mané, as the flag of the people, without ceasing to revive the humility of the poet of the castle, also reincarnates another popular poet, Espírito da Luz Soares, from Rio, North Zone, from 1957, performed by Grande Otelo and inspired by the life of Zé Kéti. The sambista from the hills, the poet of the people, whose pain and joy sang his music, sings Nelson Pereira's film. if in River, Forty Degrees, from 1955, the people and their struggle are sung, in another, two years later, their singer is also sung, united as they are, he and his people, in one spirit.

It goes without saying that the same communion, poetic and political, we find again in Joaquim Pedro's film. The same communion… Nelsonian. Doubt? Just rhetoric, and in passing, just a character, when Espírito returns by train from Moacyr's apartment, where the mismatch with erudite culture takes place. Sitting down on the train, he takes the pack of songs out of his pocket, looks at it disconsolately and threatens to throw it out the window. But when he heard, through the parallel conversation, how the samba was rooted in popular life, his doubt seemed to dissipate, and he went back to affirming his culture, and that of his people, starting to sing a new hymn, a new samba, in unforgettable sequel.

No doubt the director of Dried lives? I don't think so, given that the integrity of his first two films, almost miraculous, to the point of constituting authentic relics of ancient Rio,[26] certainly derives from his deep conviction in the strength of the Brazilian people.

Was there another way out?

There was Glauber Rocha, who, with his Barravento, from 1962, immersed itself in popular religiosity in a fishing village in Bahia, and with its God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun, from 1964, then in progress in 1963, traveled to the depths of “alienation”, pilgrimaging deep into the sertão in search of the messianism of the cross and sword. The ambiguity in the treatment of the theme also prevails, affirmed and denied at the same time, internalizing, in the words of Ismail Xavier, the “double movement of valorization—devaluation of the 'popular'”.[27]

Was there more output? There was digging and digging… without alarm.

A different path would perhaps have problematized him, as he had already done in a way with The Poet of the Castle e The Master of Apipucos, when the poor cousin and the rich cousin were reunited in a diptych, the family album ended up revealing the popular preferences of the portraitist, and with cat leather, more visibly, not only by displaying certain viscera of Carnival, but also by discarding, assuming the experience of misery, the mechanistic discourse of “conscientization” and “politicization”.

Touching on a thorny theme, problematizing popular and national culture, Garrincha, Joy of the People touched the limits of different myths, the popular myth, the myth of the people, the myth of cinema. It would return to them, no doubt, as the karma of every political filmmaker, but in an erudite register, mobilizing his literary sources, definitively taking the path that would distinguish him — of filming the unfilmable.[28]

*Airton Paschoa is a writer, author, among other books, of see ships (e-galaxia, 2021, 2nd edition, magazine).

Originally published, under the title “Mané, bandeira do povo”, in the magazine New Cebrap Studies No. 67 (Nov/2003).


Garrincha, joy of the people

Brazil, 1962, documentary, 58 minutes.

Directed by: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade.

Screenplay: Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Luiz Carlos Barreto, Armando Nogueira, Mário Carneiro and David E. Neves.

Production: Luiz Carlos Barreto and Armando Nogueira.

Narration: Heron Domingues.

Editing: Nello Melli and Joaquim Pedro de Andrade.

Photography: Mario Carneiro.

Premiere on the commercial circuit: Rio de Janeiro, July 29, 1963.


[1] “Modernity and Revolution”, selective affinities (org. by Emir Sader and trans. by Paulo Castanheira, São Paulo, Boitempo, 2002).

[2] Here is the passage sung and recited: “My glorious Brazil,/ you are beautiful, you are strong, you are a colossus;/ you are rich by nature itself./ I have never seen such beauty!/ Named Land of Santa Cruz,/ oh beloved homeland, beloved land, land of light!”

[3] For the purposes of our analysis, here are the sequences of the film (58 minutes, not 70 minutes, as is usually stated in several files), and the average time of each one: 1.a) Opening (or the offer buchada) (5min): a) beginning of the credits; b) photos of Garrincha; c) phrase by Nélson Rodrigues; d) the city hitting the ball; e) credits; two.a) The people and their joy (11min): a) Botafogo locker room; b) twisted; c) championship games/celebration; 3.a) Garrincha's popularity (3min): a) player's statement (portrait of humility); b) test in the city center; 4.a) Pau Grande, or the bucolic life (5min): a) Garrincha's house/family, mainá/politician visits; b) naked and “beer” (coca-cola) with childhood friends; c) start at the textile factory / Esporte Clube Pau Grande; 5.a) In Botafogo, or professional football (4min): a) training; b) concentration; 6.a) Medical testimony, or the “Garrincha case” (1min); 7.a) The national superstition (1min): a) D. Delfina: b) JK; 8.a) Garrinchíada, or the epic of the 62 World Cup (12min): a) the games; b) end of 58; c) end of 62; 9.a) Celebrations (3min): a) popular festival; b) palace party; 10.a) The football phenomenon, and the two theories (9:30 min): a) end of 50: party and frustration; b) two theories (psychoanalytic and psychosocial) / pitched battle / pitched joy / pitched melancholy; 11.a) Final, or capture of Maracanã (4min): a) arrival of fans; b) repeated idol goals; c) photo of Garrincha on the net.

[4] “Povo de garrinchas” can be seen, linguistically speaking, as idiomatism, or idiotism, an expression that is of an untranslatable nature, — idiomatic, in a word. An expression of a personal utopia, the author of “povo de garrinchas” is, therefore, always in linguistic terms, a kind of idiot of subjectivity.

[5] To believe in Nascentes (according to the Houaiss Dictionary of the Portuguese Language) and aurelion (cf. “wren”), the approximation is not only poetic, but etymological. Garrincha, or garriça, or wren, derived from “camba” (“black”) + “xirra”, or “xilra” (“swallow”), would be equivalent, in Tupi-Guarani, to “black swallow”.

[6] Musical recognition, for whose eventual cacophonies he should not be blamed, was in charge of the young and generous master Guilherme de Camargo.

[7] With the exception of the opening and ending, commanded by the music, “Brasil glorioso” and “O Império desce”, respectively, we can divide the narrative text of the film into nine thematic blocks: 1st) the poetic naming; 2nd) Garrincha's popularity; 3.º) the bucolic life in Pau Grande; 4.º) the hard life in Botafogo; 5) the Garrincha “case”; 6) national superstition; 7th) Garrinchíada, or the epic of bi; 8) the general's speech; and 9th) the football phenomenon, or both theories.

[8] “Mané Garrincha was one of those providential idols with which chance came to meet the popular masses and even the bigwigs periodically responsible for the fate of Brazil, offering them the player who contradicted all the sacramental principles of the game, and who nevertheless achieved the most delicious results. Would it not really be an indication that the country, unprepared for the glorious destiny we aspire to, would also manage to overcome its limitations and deficiencies and reach the point of greatness that would make us individually the greatest pride, due to the extinction of former colonial complexes?” (Carlos Drummond de Andrade, “Mané and the dream”, When is football day, Rio de Janeiro, Record, 2002, p. 217).

[9] Roland Barthes, mythologies (transl. Rita Buongermino and Pedro de Souza, Rio de Janeiro/ São Paulo, Difel, 1978).

[10] Here is the passage sung, or rather, what we could distinguish from it: “The Empire descends,/ to show there in the city,/ that it has value,/ but has no vanity./ There is no separation/ […] / because force, / it is the union that makes./ That is why our school,/ when it descends, thank God,/ it always brings victory”.

[11] See the interpretation of Macunaima by Ismail Xavier, Allegories of underdevelopment: new cinema, tropicalism, marginal cinema (São Paulo, Brasiliense, 1993). In its critique of national malandragem, the film is another example of the passage from “allegory of hope” to “allegory of disillusionment”.

[12] “To make a film of this type, where you try to capture spontaneous reality whenever and wherever it happens, you really need to have portable, light, discreet equipment, so that it is not perceived, without interfering or altering reality. Although this equipment already exists, mainly due to the influence of the TV market, we, here in Brazil, do not have it (…) The films we have been making, Garrincha for example, resent it very much. If I had the possibility to explore the field of spoken sound, of the concept, I could accomplish much more. The scenes I tried to shoot outside, where the sound was actually coming from, were very technically flawed. I was forced to abandon them. The most I could do was an interview in the studio, without hiding, by the way, that it was an interview. He asked, listened and recorded sound and image. Anyway, even with modern equipment, the problem is not entirely overcome, because the camera is always disturbing, with the need for a particular technique for each style of film” (“O cinema-verdade”, interview by Joaquim Pedro and Mário Carneiro to Marialva Monteiro and Ronaldo Monteiro, Film Culture Magazine, Belo Horizonte, sd [probably 1963], p. 138).

[13] rhetoric aside, dixit Glauber: “Garrincha is an kind of true cinema and not true cinema as a type of cinema"(Review of Brazilian cinema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian Civilization, 1963, p. 123, emphasis added).

[14] As a more purist critic puts it in an article at the time: “(…) The cinema verite it is, above all, an authentic and sincere document about any aspect of reality.// Garrincha, joy of a people [sic] was presented by the authors as an example of cinema verite [sic]. The proposed objective was, therefore, to provide a document about the daily life of the football player, his contacts with the profession, his family life, his position before the enthusiastic public. But let's get to the facts. The film shows, at first, a series of Botafogo games, focusing on some beautiful goals from Garrincha. We see him later in his modest room, dancing twist with the daughters. We follow his passage through the center of Rio, soon discovered by dozens of admirers. There is a brief interview with the player and statements by the doctor from Botafogo. A long documentation begins on the world championships in which Garrincha played and, it is not known why, also the one in 1950, in which Brazil lost to Uruguay. The sequence of the mistreated current affairs is cut by shots of fans cheering or suffering in the stadium's stands. Thus ends the long 70 minutes [sic] in Garrincha, joy of a people [sic]; the available material would, however, make for a good short documentary about football in Brazil.// It is time to ask: where is the player's life taken live, in spontaneous conversations, in the unforeseen attitudes of the locker rooms, of the bars, the streets? Where is the psychology of the fans with those delicious comments that you hear at the end of games and that express a whole passion? Where is the realistic key, repeated a thousand times from ever different angles, which allows the spectator to cross the surface of human beings and collectivities, penetrating their interior, passing from mere appearances to what it really is?// We do not judge the merits of the film by Joachim Pedro. We criticize the naive and hasty pretense of calling it cinema verite [sic], as if the definition were equivalent to the simple gesture of putting on a jacket (…)” (José F. de Barros, “Brasil takes cinema to Sestri Levante”, Film Culture Magazine, op. cit., P. 74-75).

[15] For an illuminating overview of the new documentary, as the director became familiar with the techniques of cinema verite, or direct cinema, see Luciana Araújo (on. cit., esp. the “New York” section of chap. 4, “Season Abroad”, p. 126-130).

[16] “It is important to point out that, on this occasion, Lacerda's virulence in the fight against Vargas reached such a point that the journalist ended up providing Samuel Wainer with a pretext for him to take revenge on the campaign launched the previous year against the Last Minute. Thus came the nickname 'Corvo', which he would carry throughout his life. // In fact, the nickname originated from a cartoon by the cartoonist Lan, published in Last Minute, on May 25, 1954 (…)// Lacerda (…) also attended the burial [of police columnist Nestor Moreira, victim of a police beating], all dressed in black. With tears in his eyes, he gave a speech at the tomb, condemning police violence (…) Samuel Wainer, who had also attended the ceremony, described to Lan what reminded him of the figure of Lacerda, asking the cartoonist to characterize his enemy as a crow in front of him. edge of the coffin. The drawing was so successful that it was published again on May 27th and, since then, the journalist has not gotten rid of that nickname” (Marina Gusmão de Mendonça, The Destroyer of Presidents — the political trajectory of Carlos Lacerda: 1930-1968, São Paulo, Codex, 2002, p. 146).

[17] Luciana Araújo raises another interpretation, suggestive, not necessarily antagonistic: “(…) I believe that the film comments, through the figure of Garrincha, his own [the director's] proximity to power. The inclusion of Banco Nacional de Minas Gerais (financier of the film, which appears in the acknowledgments credits) is too wide open to have only financial reasons. Likewise, the insistence on focusing on Carlos Lacerda (in photos and films) exceeds the treatment that was being given to other politicians (including presidents, more powerful than Lacerda). Perhaps in these moments a subtle relationship is being insinuated between the cinematographic spectacle and that of football, between filmmaker and player. In common, the commitment to power, which enables (or encourages) the show through funding” (op. cit., P. 151).

[18] “(…) under these conditions we didn't use artificial light, we filmed things as they happened, and we had several cameras. This was one of the film's innovations, which was immediately adopted, even the following week, by Carlos Niemeyer, on that Canal 100 (…) He used a single camera in a close-up shot. When he saw our footage with five cameras arranged in various ways, he adopted this tactic immediately. He started to edit some scenes, as he still does today, avoiding, in general, the montage I did in the Garrincha and replaying the scenes on set so football fans can view it from multiple angles, the entire plays, without the cinematic cut occurring in the middle that was a feature of the Garrincha” (“The conflict in the filmmaker/director of photography relationship”, interview by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, edited by David França Mendes and transcribed from the video by Adriana Lutf, Dimensions, year I, n.º 0, 1992, p. 19).

[19] In his own way, somewhat clumsily, he touched Glauber on the film's most complex issues, as well as defending the new cinema (paradoxically?) as a new popular myth: “Garrincha, because its authors are aware of cinema (and consequently of the entire Brazilian process), incorporates the first signs of a demystifying cinema that starts from popular myths themselves: a cinema that indicates itself as a new myth of the people, replacing the myths that it itself destroys in its way of revealing, knowing, discussing and transforming” (on. cit., P. 124).

[20] To see the aporias of the theme when treated in an idealist and/or formalist context, cf. by Jean-Claude Bernardet The author in cinema — the politics of authors: France, Brazil in the 50s and 60s (São Paulo, Brasiliense/Edusp, 1994). In the pages dedicated to Glauber, Jean-Claude encounters another vision of authorship, whose development could lead the discussion to a less subjectivist terrain.

[21] Or, in the words of the director: “There really is a big difference in the division of work and responsibility between making documentary films, whether journalistic or not, and fiction, scripts. One of the fundamental parts of cinema verite is in charge of the cameraman, or the sound recorder. It is very difficult for a director to make a film of this type, even if he has a cameraman who can do his bidding quickly. Generally, what happens is that the director is also the cameraman or the sound recorder. It's how you get better results. The technicians, in this case, identify themselves with the creators, the intellectuals. It is, therefore, a much more pronounced teamwork, much more true than in other types of cinema. Garrincha it is the result of the joint work of many people, including editing, due to the much greater degree of improvisation. Great part of the creation is improvised either in the scene taking, or in the recording, or in the editing. Contrary to what happens with the fiction film (“O cinema-verdade”, on. cit., P. 52-53).

[22] “The author bears the greatest responsibility for the truth: his aesthetic is an ethic, his mise-en-scène is a policy” (Glauber Rocha, on. cit., P. 14). And “the moral of the Brazilian 'cinema novo'”, — he adds further on, bringing together ethics, aesthetics and politics, — “is fatally revolutionary” (Id., P. 44).

[23] Just to give an idea of ​​the pineapple — given the personal impossibility of reconstructing its sinuous historical course, with diverse configurations and reconfigurations — we learn that only from the 60s to the 80s three distinct constellations are identified, according to the Centro de Estudos de Arte Contemporânea ( Ceac), responsible for publishing the various numbers of the Art in Magazine, an assessment carried out in the late 70s with a clear purpose of political and cultural intervention. After the auspicious beginning and the gloomy end of the 60s, as a result of the coup and the hardening of the post-68 regime, political openness led to rethinking or even resuming — critically — the path that had been brutally interrupted. New illusion? Anyone who wants to peel the “recent fruit”, which continues to smell to this day, can start with the Seminars by Marilena Chauí, dating from 1983, which give an overview of the formidable undertaking. The book is part of a precious collection, The National and the Popular in Brazilian Culture, launched by Brasiliense in the early 80s, and is the result, as the name implies, of discussions held at the Nucleus of Studies and Research at Funarte. In addition to it and the book by Maria Rita and Jean-Claude, already mentioned, there are also in the collection Theater (by José Arrabal and Mariângela Alves Lima) and Television (by Carlos Alberto Pereira and Ricardo Miranda), both 83; Plastic Arts and Literature (by Carlos Zilio, João Luiz Lafetá and Ligia Chiappini Moraes Leite) and Music (by Enio Squeff and José Miguel Wisnik), dated 82. For a didactic excursion on the subject, see also, by Sebastião Uchoa Leite, “Popular culture: sketch of a critical review”, Brazilian Civilization Magazine, n.o 4, September/65, p. 269-289.

[24] “A colonial situation”, Art in Magazine 1, Jan-Mar/79, p. 11-14.

[25] Marcelo Ridenti, In Search of the Brazilian People — Artists of the Revolution, from the CPC to the TV Age (Rio de Janeiro, Record, 2000).

[26] Cf. “Relics of ancient Rio”, in the magazine cinemas n.o 35, article by me on cat leather, the 1961/62 short by Joaquim Pedro, a kind of exquisite episode, by the way, of the popular lyric inaugurated by Nelson Pereira with his first two films.

[27] And the critic continues: “Following the general tendency, [Glauber's two films] elaborate the critique of the representations of the dominated classes based on the concept of 'alienation'. But, containing in itself a movement of affirmation of these representations as resistance, the place of an identity to be taken as a starting point, these films are also marked by adherence and praise. They assume, for real, the meanings elaborated by them and seek in them some lesson about experience, not just the 'communicative' form [preached by the CPC]” (backwoods sea, on. cit., P. 162).

28] Cf. article by me, “The debut of Joaquim Pedro: sleeping giant and popular flag”, in USP Magazine n.o 63, Sep/Oct/Nov/2004.

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