President of the bloco afro Olodum, João Jorge (left) and director Spike Lee
Continuing our coverage on filmmaker Spike Lee’s upcoming documentary Go Brazil Go, our friends over at the Correio Nagô website contributed the material for this latest report on Lee’s project. The director is spending the week of Carnaval in Salvador, Bahia, an important city in Brazil in terms of Afro-Brazilian history and culture.
Filmmaker Spike Lee is in Salvador recording scenes of his new documentary
based on an article by Correio Nagô edited by BW of Brazil
Correio Nagô interview with Spike Lee
Filmmaker Spike Lee is in Salvador, Bahia, the northwestern Brazilian city known for its 80% black population and significance as the country’s center of African culture. He arrived in Bahia on Thursday (7) to meet the bloco afro Escola Criativa do Olodum (Olodum Creativity School) and watch the parade of the band and capture scenes for the documentary Go Brazil Go!, which we have previously reported here at BW of Brazil and which he plans to release sometime before the World Cup of 2014 which will be held in Brazil.
According to information from Época magazine, he is accompanied by Paranoid, the company of filmmaker Heitor Dhalia and Tatiana Quintella, chosen to produce his new documentary. Besides Olodum, Lee has a meeting with singer Ivete Sangalo, Salvador’s mayor, Antonio Carlos Magalhães Neto, governor Jacques Wagner, singer Daniela Mercury, musician Carlinhos Brownand Mãe Stella of Oxóssi.
Last year, Lee came to the country and spoke with 30 personalities, including musician and former Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, actor Lázaro Ramos, Federal Deputy and former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Benedita da Silva and President Dilma Rousseff, former President Lula da Silva and deputies and ministers in Brasília, where he followed the proceedings on the question of racial quotas in the Supreme Court.
The theme should be featured in his next film. “I want to look at the country from this racial issue, but the movie is not about that. I was surprised when I came to Brazil for the first time and learned that half the population was black and that this half was also the poorest. I turned on the TV and saw no black people,” he said to Época magazine.
The filmmaker was already familiar with Olodum. It was his idea in the 90s to bring the group together with pop superstar Michael Jackson in the video “They Don’t Care About Us”, recorded in the historic Pelourinho area of Salvador and the Santa Marta Favela in Rio de Janeiro(see video here).
The Afródromo parade during Carnival on Sunday in the Campo Grande area will be captured through Lee’s lens. Nominated twice for Oscars, he will film blocos afros, led by Carlinhos Brown, for the documentary according to information published in the A Tarde newspaper.
Silvio Humberto, city councilman in Salvador will also be interviewed by Lee, on Friday (8), in the Pestana Convento do Carmo Hotel. At 3pm, on Friday, the mayor, Magalhães (known as ACM Neto) will receive the director at the Palácio Thomé de Souza (Thomé de Souza Palace), in the Praça Municipal (Municipal Square). Lee will be in town until next Wednesday (12) for production of documentary images. The crew, composed of 25 people, including Americans and Brazilians, will visit areas around the city such as Rio Vermelho, Itapuã, Pelourinho and Liberdade.
Singer Margareth Menezes was with the filmmaker in the Vila Velha Theatre on the Thursday of Carnival. During the conversation, besides speaking of career, Margareth gave testimonials about the Carnival of Salvador, Bahia and the importance of Bahia’s blocos afros and also about racial inequalities.
Lee with singer Margareth Menezes
Filming began in April last year passing through the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the nation’s capital city of Brasília. Lee will also film Salvador’s Carnaval.
Profile – Spike Lee began his career in the ‘70s. Since then, he has been nominated twice for an Academy Award for the film Do the Right Thing (1989) and the documentary Four Girls – A True Story (1997). His resume also includes more than 35 projects, including Malcolm X (1992) and the video “They Don’t Care About Us” (1996) – recorded in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.
He recently announced that he is involved in a new project based on a mangá by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi, Oldboy, which became into a Japanese production in 2003. The film is a remake that will be distributed by Paris Filmes, in Brazil.
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