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Friday, February 4, 2011
Brazil Slavery: An Inconvenient History
The social problems caused by the slavery had no precedent in Brazilian history. The government had no direct social concern about the situation of black Brazilians. With the abolition of the slavery, slave-holders felt completely unacquainted and unattached to the new Brazilian citizens. The social reform had to be implemented by the society at large.If we examine Brazil's history, we can see that the social problems date back to slavery and its legacy. At first glance Brazil appears to be an alluring playground of exciting carnivals, sultry samba, divine football and a vibrantly diverse people.But behind this dazzling facade lies a disturbing story of history s largest-ever slave population. Astonishingly Brazil, a Portuguese colony, received ten-times more African slaves than the numbers transported to North America. This programme looks at those estimated 4 million people with whose blood, sweat and tears Brazil was built. Without them none of Brazil's present-day success and appeal would exist. Using contemporary testimonies, this film takes a hard look at Brazil's dark history through the eyes of those slaves. They lived in squalid conditions on remote plantations or in teeming cities harbouring fatal diseases. Most Africans survived only seven years in this 'New World'. Some, however, did survive to create a new culture a fusion of African and European. This new ethnicity permeates and explains the modern Brazilian way of life. This outstanding film, winner of the Houston Film Festival Gold Award, is directed by Phil Grabsky. His film throws light on Brazil's inconvenient history .