Jun 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm
A MAN MARKED FOR DEATH / TWENTY YEARS LATER
Organized by Steve Macfarlane, and followed by conversation with Ivone Margulies, Fábio Andrade + Violet Lucca.
Widely heralded as one of the greatest metadocumentaries ever made, Eduardo Coutinho’s A MAN MARKED FOR DEATH / TWENTY YEARS LATER remains shockingly underseen in North America. The story begins in 1962, during a brief moment of respite for the Brazilian left: Coutinho sought to make a polemical docudrama about João Pedro Teixeira, a peasant unionist who led a revolt against US-backed sharecroppers in the northeast region of Paraíba – before being murdered by two policemen. Coutinho went as far as to “cast” Teixeira’s fellow laborers (and his widow, Elizabete) as themselves in this dramatization – but as a military coup d’etat overtook Brazil’s government, filming was halted, and Coutinho had to hide the footage.
After a loosening of restrictions in the early Eighties, Coutinho transferred his original footage to 16mm, and sought out the original participants of A MAN MARKED FOR DEATH – touring the region to exhibit the old black-and-white dailies, and conduct new interviews. Coutinho contemplates his own Eurocentric, urban privilege while indexing the impact of the rebellions (and subsequent junta) on the peasants’ lives – especially Elizabete, who went into hiding under a different name.
A Man Marked For Death / Twenty Years Later
119 min., 1984
A searing investigation into the state’s power to rewrite history (to say nothing of the journalistic potential of direct cinema), TWENTY YEARS LATER was voted Best Brazilian Documentary of all time by The Brazilian Association of Film Critics in March 2017.
Ivone Margulies is the author of Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hyperrealist Everyday, also in translation – Nada Acontece: o Cotidiano hiperrealista de Chantal Akerman (2016). She edited Rites of Realism: Essays on Corporeal Cinema (2003) and has written on cinema verité and psychodrama, on Andrea Tonacci, André Bazin, on Sacha Guitry, Eric Rohmer, Cassavetes, as well as on contemporary installation artists. She is currently finalizing her book In Person Reenactment in Postwar Cinema (Oxford U Press). She is professor of Film studies at Hunter College and is affiliated with the Film Studies Certificate Program and the Theatre PhD program at the Graduate Center, CUNY.
Fábio Andrade is a film critic, filmmaker and musician. He is editor-in-chief of bilingual Brazilian online film magazine Cinética and holds a Fulbright/CAPES-sponsored MFA in Filmmaking from Columbia University. His work as a screenwriter, editor and award-winning sound editor includes filmmakers such as Eryk Rocha, Paula Gaitán, Thomas Elsaesser and Geraldo Sarno.
Violet Lucca is the Digital Producer of Film Comment magazine and host of The Film Comment Podcast. In addition to creating content for the online and print versions of the magazine—interviews, reviews, features, and multimedia pieces—she regularly contributes writing to Sight & Sound, The Village Voice, and Brooklyn Magazine. Lucca studied film and film production at the University of Iowa, graduating with honors, and received her master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University in 2009. Her short film, Victoria’s Secret, screened at AFI Fest in 2007. She has also worked at the Watermill Center, Macmillan Publishers, and WNYC’s The Takeaway.
Steve Macfarlane is a writer and filmmaker from Seattle, Washington. A programmer at Spectacle in Williamsburg, his writing has appeared in Cinema Scope, The White Review, Filmmaker Magazine and The Brooklyn Rail, among others.