Aloysio Raulino: short films and conversation with Victor Guimarães

Porto de Santos, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Brazil 1978, 18 min, 35mm (digital copy), B&W, Portuguese with English Subtitles

Date: Friday 31 March

Time: 13:00-17:00

Venue: Birkbeck Cinema


Reflections on Aloysio Raulino by Victor Guimarães

Lacrimosa, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Luna Alkalay, Brazil 1970, 12 min, 16mm (digital copy), B&W, Portuguese with English Subtitles

Jardim Nova Bahia, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Brazil 1971, 15 min, 35mm  (digital copy), B&W/colour, Portuguese with English Subtitles

Teremos Infância, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Brazil 1974, 13 min, 35mm (digital copy), B&W, Portuguese with English Subtitles

O Tigre e a Gazela, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Brazil 1977, 15 min, 35mm (digital copy), B&W, Portuguese with English Subtitles

Porto de Santos, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Brazil 1978, 18 min, 35mm (digital copy), B&W, Portuguese with English Subtitles

Inventário da Rapina, dir. Aloysio Raulino, Brazil 1985, 26 min, 35mm (digital copy), colour, 1985, Portuguese with English Subtitles

Filmmaker and cinematographer Aloysio Raulino (1947-2013) was an influential figure in the history of Brazilian documentary film. This session is dedicated to a series of short films he directed throughout the 1970s and 1980s. They tell us of an urban reality marked by strong class divisions, by contrasts between ideas of progress and modernity and the real living conditions of the Brazilian black population and working class.

These films are sites of reflection on the nature of the cinematic image, the use of color and black and white, the framing, the position of the camera, the conditions of the gaze: what does it mean looking at someone, or looking alongside someone, what does it mean having our gaze returned? Raulino’s filmmaking takes a step forward in conceiving and welcoming others’ subjectivity, thus establishing the position of the spectator as one of constant questioning, never appeased.

Raulino explores ways of establishing a voice, of existing through one’s own body, which becomes a place for the creation of an individual, regional or national identity, having young, marginalised figures as protagonists. Through their self-reflexive narratives, these people claim a place of speech, while the film also investigates the necessary tools (material, intellectual) for the realisation of this empowerment.

Lacrimosa is shot in Marginal Tietê, a then new avenue in São Paulo, allowing us to see the city from the inside. A film that Raulino described as the birth of a conscience, and where the realisation of a somber present exists in a dialectical relationship with a possible future.

In Jardim Nova Bahia, many of the images are filmed by the protagonist himself, a car washer from Bahia, inverting the roles of who observes and who is observed. This echoes in other aspects of a film built around a migrant worker, now looking for a new life and place.

In Teremos Infância,Arnulfo Silva presents a retrospective account of his wounded childhood, not an isolated phenomenon, but part of a larger system. Through his words, infancy is thought of through the power of invention and narrative, contradicting what happened with what should have been.

Based on texts by Frantz Fanon, O Tigre e a Gazela is an exercise in vision, where the places of the predator and the prey are challenged, where the relationship between worker and work is analysed.

Porto de Santos is a portrait of the largest port in Latin America: its space, its boats, its history, revisited through its workers, its fishermen, those who built and work at the port, but who do not always benefit from the improvements that the periods of economic growth brought to the city.

Inventário da Rapina constitutes a longer essay on the different forms of usurpation and oppression inherentto Brazil’s founding, but also the cultural intersections that constitute the country. Inventário recognises the multiple sides of this society and accounts for the tensions between them.

This session was conceived in collaboration with Brazilian critic Victor Guimarães.

With thanks to Paulo Sacramento and the estate of Aloysio Raulino.