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I Owe You a Letter About Brazil
© Daza Filmes / Muiraquitã Filmes
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AUTEUR(S)-RÉALISATEUR(S)

Carol Benjamin

AUTEUR(S)

Rita Toledo

IMAGE

Mauro Pinheiro Jr

SON

Edson Secco

MONTAGE

Marilia Moraes, Isabel Mattos Castro

MUSIQUE ORIGINALE

Edson Secco

PRODUCTION / DIFFUSION

Daza Filmes, Muiraquitã Filmes, VideoFilmes, Canal Brasil

ORGANISME(S) DÉTENTEUR(S) ou DÉPOSITAIRE(S)

Muiraquitã Filmes

ISAN : non renseigné - en savoir plus
COMMENT VISIONNER CE FILM ?

Brésil, 1971, César Benjamin a 17 ans. Après une manifestation étudiante, il est torturé puis condamné à 13 ans de prison. Grâce une campagne menée de main de fer par sa mère Iramaya avec Amnesty International, l’adolescent est libéré après 5 ans d’isolement complet. Exilé en Suède, César ne parlera jamais de cette tragédie, alors que l’ardente Irmaya deviendra la figure tutélaire de la “mère Courage” au Brésil. Sous la forme d’une lettre bouleversante à son père, qui a refusé d’apparaître dans le film, Carol Benjamin replace, à partir d’archives vidéo et de lettres, les pièces d’un puzzle familial et d’une tragédie qui est aussi celle d’un pays tout entier. Sa lettre de cinéma oppose les mots au silence, la mémoire à l’oubli, mais est avant tout une lettre d’amour à un père et à son courage. 

César Benjamin was arrested in August 1971 during student protests against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Although he was a juvenile, he was tried as an adult and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Thanks to the ardent campaigning of his mother Iramaya, working closely together with the Swedish branch of Amnesty International, he was released five years later.
Everything filmmaker Carol Benjamin knows about this dark period in her father’s life, she has heard from her grandmother, as César himself never talks about it. Hoping to better understand this part of her family history, she travels to Sweden to meet with the people who were involved in the campaign for his release.
While the archived documents contain the factual details of the case, the real entry into this story is provided by excerpts from Iramaya’s autobiography and her highly personal correspondence with one of the Swedish campaigners. Ultimately, we see César Benjamin’s own heartrending testimony for Brazil’s National Truth Commission, more than three decades after his release. Connecting the country’s recent past and the turbulent present context, I Owe You a Letter About Brazil investigates the persistence of silence as a tool to erase memory.

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