November 4 – 50 years of assassination of revolutionary Carlos Marighella: Why was biopic scheduled to drop on Black Consciousness Day cancelled?

Release of the film 'Marighella' was cancelled; was due to hit movie screens on November 20, the Day of Black Consciousness
Release of the film ‘Marighella’ was cancelled; was due to hit movie screens on November 20, the Day of Black Consciousness

Note from BW of Brazil: Yesterday, November 4, marked 50 years since the assassination of the Bahian revolutionary Carlos Marighella. Still a figure that many average Brazilians have never heard of, the name and legacy of the Communist leader has been increasingly debated since the production of the Wagner Moura directed film Marighella that narrates the life of the left wing guerrilla that was a symbol of resistance against the Military Dictatorship for some while labeled a terrorist by detractors. The film debuted in February at the Berlin Film Festival. The film was the target of various threats from neo-fascist groups and after the changing of the date for its debut in Brazil, the release was eventually cancelled. Mored on that below. The final release date before the cancellation was November 20th, the day in which black consciousness is celebrated in hundreds of cities across Brazil. 

With a rising discussion over black identity and classification, several black organizations have pointed to the necessity of reminding Brazilians that Marighella was in fact a black man, a point supported by the film’s director, Wagner Moura, who sees the need for a “black revolution ” in Brazil. Marighella was the son of a Bahian mother and an Italian immigrant father. So just who was Marighella’s mother?

Maria Rita, mãe de Marighella
Maria Rita Nascimento, Carlos Marighella’s mother

Maria Rita Nascimento, a daughter of slaves in the state of Bahia brought from the Sudan, met the worker Augusto Marighella, a recent immigrant from Emilia, Italy, in Salvador, Bahia’s capital city. They fell in love, got married and their first child was Carlos Marighella born in December 5, 1911.

Maria Rita, was born in May 1888 (the same month and year of the abolition of slavery in Brazil), the daughter and granddaughter of slaves of Haussás origin. The Haussás were black, Muslim peoples, coming from Central Sudan, present-day northern Nigeria, who when they arrived in Brazil were taken, mostly, to Bahia and Pernambuco. 

It is from these Muslims that the idea of the proud, insolent, unsubmissive and rebellious negro was created. The non-conformity with slavery in Brazil made the Haussás organize several revolts. The largest of them took place on the night of January 24th and 25th, 1835, in Bahia, with one thousand and five hundred blacks: the revolt of the Malês. In this sense, one could say that revolution was already in Marighella’s blood. 

But for what other reasons should people know about this controversial figure and why would a certain faction not want more people to know more about him? Let’s get into this…

November 4, 1969 – Marighella killed

50 years of Marighella’s death

Do not judge Carlos Marighella before you know his biography and his ideal. Marighella was a hero, who clashed head-on against US imperialist and capitalist interests

by Luiz Fernando Padulla

On November 4, 1969 they murdered Carlos Marighella. DOPS agents, using their truculent and cowardly tactics (as is customary to this day in the outlaw figure of the Military Police, puppies of the dictatorship), used companions as bait, cornered and shot Carlos in the Alameda Casa Branca.

In the website “Memoirs of Dictatorship” they describe Carlos Marighella as “politician, guerrilla and poet (…) experienced the repression of two authoritarian regimes: Getúlio Vargas’s Estado Novo (1937-1945) and the military dictatorship that began in 1964 He was one of the main organizers of the resistance against the military regime and was even considered the number one enemy of the dictatorship. ”

Carlos was not just a citizen. He was a warrior who abdicated his personal life for a broad and social struggle.

Fifty years after his death, Marighella is still remembered for his pursuit of justice. And to this day it still takes away the sleep of fascists who, in the middle of the 21st century, still impose a censorship on their own cinematographic biography.

They may try to silence us, but they will never quench the flame of democracy that Carlos and so many other Brazilians have ignited. The times are dark and cloudy under the leadership of a president (Jair Bolsonaro) elected through FAKE NEWS, a militia supporter and, together with his fellowship clan, most likely involved in the execution of Councilwoman Marielle Franco. But we will keep fighting and resisting.

That is why it is important to know the truth, because only truth allows us to fight with wisdom and awareness that we are on the right side of history.

Mariguella - o guerrilheiro que incendiou o mundo
Book: ‘Mariguella: o guerrilheiro que incendiou o mundo

In his fabulous book Mariguella: o guerrilheiro que incendiou o mundo (Mariguella: the guerrilla who set the world on fire), Mario Magalhães shows who this Salvador, Bahia native truly was. Reading it and informing yourself, every stigma thrown at Marighella – dictated by the desperate, reactionary right – crumbles to dust, giving way to the truth.

Do not judge Carlos Marighella before you know his biography and his ideal. Marighella was a hero, who clashed head-on against US imperialist and capitalist interests Carlos was, above all, a true Brazilian, who would put to shame anyone who claims to be a patriot today – which includes even the old-school militias, who are currently real criminals and accomplices of harming the homeland.

Marighella was – and must be forever – an example of resistance!

Carlos Marighella, present!

cancelled 2
Cancelled! Marighella film poster, director Wagner Moura and President Jair Bolsonaro

The film that can’t make its debut: ‘Marighella’ has a screening cancelled by Ancine’s restrictions

In a statement, the film’s production said it “failed to meet all of the agency’s requirements in time.” In the networks, writers, politicians and artists talk about censorship

“This is the story they don’t want being known. This is the character they intend to condemn to oblivion”, says author of the biography about Marighella.

For the journalist and writer Mário Magalhães, the life of the communist militant Carlos Marighella is the story that a part of society does not want to be known. Proof of this are the constant attacks on the screening of the film Marighella which, on Thursday, September 12, had its debut canceled by its producers. In a press release, O2 Filmes said it had not “been able to fulfill all the procedures required by Ancine (National Cinema Agency) in time”.

The feature film that was be screened in Brazil on November 20, to mark the 50th anniversary of Marighella’s death and Black Consciousness Day, has no new release date yet. For writers, politicians and artists, the situation only confirms the agency’s suspicions of censorship and boycott amid the Jair Bolsonaro government. “This is the story they don’t want being known. This is the character they intend to condemn to oblivion. Forgetting is a friend of barbarism,” says the Twitter of Magalhães, who is the author of the biographical book Marighella – O homem que incendiou o mundo (Marighella – The Man Who Set the World on Fire), used as the basis for the production of the cinematographic work.

This is the movie that can’t make its debut in Brazil. “This is the story they don’t want being known. This is the character they intend to condemn to oblivion. Forgetfulness is a friend of barbarism.

– Mario Magalhães (@mariomagalhaes_) September 12, 2019

In August, the film, which marks actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut, was denied two appeals by the agency, which rejected a reimbursement analysis of expenses paid by the producer of more than BRL $1 million by the Audiovisual Sector Fund (FSA), and also denied the appeal that questioned whether the money for marketing the film could be released before the signing of the contract with FSA which, according to O2 to the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, would be delayed for agreement. By preventing the release, the producer had to postpone the premiere, as announced on September 12.

For Federal Deputy Margarida Salomão (PT-MG) Ancine’s impositions on the feature film are still a consequence of Bolsonaro’s management of the agency, which tries to control it by almost its own criteria. “The ‘failure to comply with the required procedures’ must be understood as clear pursuit of the Bolsonaro government,” says the congressman.

Carlos Marighella: December 5, 1911-November 4, 1969

Coordinator of the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) and the Frente Povo Sem Medo (Fearless People Front), Guilherme Boulos, also through Twitter, recalled the president’s statement that, in July, he said that “if we cannot have a filter, we will extinguish the Ancine.” “The filter has another name: censorship!”, Boulos ironizes. Former Federal Representative Chico Alencar pointed to the cancellation as “an attack on Brazilian culture and economy”. “Bolsonaro has cut 43% of the audiovisual fund. It is destroying a sector that moves BRL $20 billion a year and generates more than 400 thousand jobs,” explains the former parliamentarian in reference to recent measures promoted by the government.

The film Marighella continues to be screened at film festivals around the world, and has already been applauded at the Berlin Film Festival. Producer O2 says that now the main objective is to ensure the debut in Brazil, but what is speculated is that the work will be released only after April 2020. “People need to know that in Brazil there are people resisting. And that this fight is fair,” wrote university professor, feminist blogger and educator Lola Aronovich, referring to the phrase highlighted in the film’s trailer. “Any resemblance to the present times is no coincidence.”

Chico’s turn

The column of journalist Ancelmo Gois, of the newspaper O Globo, announced later this Friday (13) that the movie Chico: Artista Brasileiro (Chico: Brazilian Artist) was censored by the Brazilian Embassy in Montevideo. In a note sent to the director of the work Miguel Faria Junior, JBM Producciones of Uruguay said that the film was forbidden to be part of the 2019 Cine Festival screening by Embassy decision.

With information courtesy of Brasil 247 and Rede Brasil Atual


About Marques Travae 3413 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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