OLHAR ESTRANGEIRO (2006)
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Audience Reviews for OLHAR ESTRANGEIRO
"Based on the book " O Brasil dos gringos", by Tunico Amâncio, the documentary shows the vision that world cinema has of the country, through the films in which Brazil was a location, a theme or even a reference, and what is behind these productions, through interviews with their directors and screenwriters. The objective is to reveal the mechanisms that produce that image. The stories, motivations and/or pressures that are behind these films". Lucia Murat's idea was very interesting, however a deeply serious study would be more effective. The laid back tone and her preconceived point of view, directing the interviewees (specially the "common" people) to previously selected clichés, end up equaling the documentary to the theme itself. Like Leonardo Mecchi says in his review (revistacinetica.com.br), "Murat commits the same mistake she accuses his interviewees to do: denies them the individualization and shows this look as intrinsically and necessarily prejudiced". He also points out how she let such an important film like Black Orpheus (directed by Mrcel Camus) out, "while films like Lambada, The Forbidden Dance and Anaconda are analyzed as if they were in-depth studies on the Brazilianness and not the unpretentious and 'self-consciously built on clichés' films they are." Even inside this unpretentious selection, others films stayed out like "Woman on Top", directed by the Venezuelan film director Fina Torres. With Penelope Cruz, "Woman on Top" is a light romantic comedy produced in USA, but without obvious clichés. In the end of Godard's Bande à Part, Odile asks Franz if there're lions in Brazil to which he answers: as well as croc...Odiles". If seeking the truth, documentaries and documentarists should have an impartial point of view. Choosing only one side, a possible reality is lost. Right in the beginning of the film, Murat says that the culture industry shares the responsibility of these clichés that we're always trying to get away from. Tired of being force-fed these ideas, she decided to find those who created this character called Brazil. This is as so surreal as irresponsible. Who created this character called Brazil? Brazil did it. Where comes the idea of sex, vulgarity and freedom from? From Brazilian films, specially the Pornochanchada ones, and from the Carnaval. That image of Brazil as the country of football and beautiful women, among other things, was created by its own people, bought worldwide and is still fed nowadays because it sells. If we really are a country without identity - "After all, who are we? (dedicated) To all who look for their identity" - then we only exist through the regard of the other, through stereotypes.
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