Brazil 1988, 153 mins
Director: Zózimo Bulbul

+ intro by Brazilian MP, Benedita da Silva (pre-recorded) and panel discussion with Vanessa Gabriel-Robinson, chair, Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS), and Dr Maria Augusta Arruda (University of Nottingham). Hosted by Victor Fraga of DMovies.

This is a rare screening of the film by actor and director Zózimo Bulbul, a key figure in the progressive, political Black movement in Brazil, who worked with renowned filmmakers such as Glauber Rocha (Black God, White Devil) and Ola Balogun (Black Goddess). This epic documentary marks 135 years since slavery was abolished in Brazil, on 13 May 1888 (Abolition Act Day). Combining archive material and interviews with historians, government ministers, artists, sports people and street-dwellers, it presents a complex portrait of the Black experience over the course of the last century.


Maria Augusta Arruda is the daughter of two of the founders of the Brazilian Unified Black Movement (MNU). Maria is Head of Researcher Development and Chair of the BAME Staff Network at the University of Nottingham until July 2023 when she joins the Brazilian Centre for Research for Energy and Materials as Director of the National Biosciences Laboratory ( Maria holds a BSc. and PhD. in Pharmacology and is a L’Oréal Women in Science Awardee.

Host: Victor Fraga is an Anglo-Brazilian journalist, filmmaker and exhibitor. Born in Brazil and based in London for 25 years, he is the founder and director of DMovies (aka Dirty Movies), the portal for thought-provoking cinema, one of the leading indie film publications in the UK since 2016. He has recently directed two films. Victor believes that cinema is a powerful transformational tool on a personal, social and also political level. This vision is reflected on DMovies and his films. Victor is also a film exhibitor, and regular partner at the BFI.

Vanessa Gabriel-Robinson was born and raised in Amapa, part of the Brazilian Amazon region. She is a chair at the Latin-American Women’s Resource Services (LAWRS), a feminist organisation that supports Latina victims of violence in the UK. She also works at the Mayor of London leading strategic programs focused on skills and social inclusion.

Vanessa is a former journalist and has been working in the creative industries for almost 15 years, developing and implementing projects to address inequalities in the cultural sector in South America and the Middle East. She has worked at British Council, Queen Mary University, and LOCOG.

Alongside, Vanessa has been working on independent projects to support cultural makers from the Amazon region with indigenous and Black backgrounds. She is the founder of the 1st Amazon Film Festival in London (in partnership with Richmix), created a series of events as part of COP26 with unheard voices from her region, and the exhibition ‘For those who are to come’, which was part of the Climate Hub at COP26.

Director: Zózimo Bulbul
Brazil 1988
153 mins

Total running time: 190 mins

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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