Quilombo Country, the award-winning documentary about Brazilian villages founded by escaped and rebel slaves, will have its premiere theatrical run in New York at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater from Friday, September 19 to Thursday, September 25 every evening at 7 pm.Â The film is narrated by Chuck D, the legendary poet, media commentator and leader of the iconic hip hop band Public Enemy.
Brazil, once the world's largest slave colony, was deadly for millions of Africans. But many thousands escaped and rebelled, creating settlements they called quilombos in Brazil's untamed hinterland. Largely unknown to the outside world, these communities struggle today to preserve a rich heritage born of resistance to oppression.
Quilombo Country explores Afro Brazilian village life among the forests and rivers of northern Brazil, with rare footage of festivals and ceremonies that blend Catholic, African and native Amazonian rituals and customs, including the use of dance, drumming, tobacco and other sacred plants to facilitate the communication between the spiritual
and material worlds.
Quilombo Country is alive with first-person accounts of racial conflict, cultural ferment, political identity, and the struggle for land and human rights.
Those who can't make it to New York, may see the film at http://www.quilombocountry.com. Journalists and educators may write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-260-7540 to receive a copy for review for publication or possible institutional purchase.
Shot in digital video, the Brazilian documentary provides a portrait of rural communities in Brazil that were either founded by runaway slaves or begun from abandoned plantations. This name quilombo comes from an Angolan word that means "encampment." As many as 2,000 quilombos exist today.
Contrary to Brazil's national mythology, Brazil was a brutal place for slaves. But they didn't submit willingly. Thousands escaped, while others led political and militant movements that forced white farmers to leave.
The film ranges from the Northeastern sugar-growing regions to the heart of the Amazon rainforest, raising issues of political identity, land rights, and racial and socioeconomic discrimination.
Included are examples of the material culture that allow the quilombolas (quilombo residents) to survive in relative isolation, including hunting, fishing, construction and agriculture; as well as rare footage of syncretic Umbanda and Pajelança ceremonies; Tambor de Crioula, Carimbó and Boi Bumbá drum and dance celebrations; and Festivals of the Mast.
Quilombo Country has a runtime of 73 minutes. Leonard Abrams is the producer and director.
Pioneer Theater, Ave. A & 3rd Street, New York City
Friday, September 19 to Thursday Sept 25, 2008
Most shows at 7 pm
Q&A with director Leonard Abrams after Friday and Saturday shows