In an impressionistic, episodic appreciation, Janaína Oliveira reconsiders the legacy of Black Brazilian filmmaker Zózimo Bulbul. She argues that Bulbul’s status as a pioneer for black Brazilian cinema does not reside in historical chronology, but rather in the aesthetic and narrative advances accomplished by his short film, Alma no olho (Soul in the Eye), in which he also starred. Having endured almost forty years of neglect by the Brazilian film establishment, Alma no olho is now being taken up again as a reference point by a new generation of Black Brazilian filmmakers.
With the Alma no Olho: Notes on Contemporary Black Cinema
Janaína Oliveira has a PhD in History and is a professor at the Federal Institute of Rio de Janeiro. She was a 2018 Fulbright Scholar at the Center for African Studies at Howard University. She is the programmer of the 66th Flaherty Film Seminar and the Zózimo Bulbul Black Film Festival, and advises on African and black diaspora films for the Locarno Film Festival. She is the founder of the Black Cinema Itinerant Forum (FICINE).
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Janaína Oliveira, Mark Cohen; With the Alma no Olho: Notes on Contemporary Black Cinema. Film Quarterly 8 December 2020; 74 (2): 32–38. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2020.74.2.32
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