Documentary Film Fest (Day 1 of AfroBrazilFest 2011)
When: Monday, June 6 – 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Venue: Howard University/L. K. Downing Hall Auditorium
Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê follows three women competing to be the carnival queen of Queen of Ilê Aiyê, a prominent and controversial Afro-Brazilian group with an all-black membership. The selection is based on Afro-centric notions of beauty, in counterpoint to prevailing standards of beauty in Brazil, a country famous for slim supermodels and plastic surgery. Contestants for the title of “Ebony Goddess” dress in flowing African-style garments, gracefully performing traditional Afro-Brazilian dances to songs praising the beauty of black women.
Maestrina da Favela documents a girl and her mission to liberate children from a life of drugs, violence and poverty. Filmed in the Rocinha slum in Brazil’s capital of happiness, Salvador, Bahia, with sounds from Africa a teenage girl beats empowerment into youth through drums.
After the screenings there will be a panel discussion on Afro-Brazilian identity and the notion of Brazil as a “racial democracy.” The discussion will be moderated by public scholar and cultural activist Dr. Gisele-Audrey Mills. The panelists include Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo, Ana Luiza Flauzina, Mirian Silva, and Tonho Materia. Maestrina da Favela filmmaker Falani Afrika will be answering questions about the film.