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Manifesto for a Cinema Quijotesco

When I started teaching movie-making to kids on the margins of society, I had dreamed of a place like the favela of Arruda: a slum in the midst...


When I started teaching movie-making to kids on the margins of society, I had dreamed of a place like the favela of Arruda: a slum in the midst of a gang war, where I could help children denounce injustice. For the previous two weeks, fifteen kids, my wife, and I had been struggling to write a script "to tell the truth about our community" as one of the young filmmakers put it. Finally, we worked out the climax: One of the main characters would be shot because he was in debt to the crackhouse. The scene was dramatic, it would make for powerful film… but it didn't feel quite right.

"All of you have told us stories of friends who've been shot," my wife said. "But none of them had a debt. None of them were in the drug trade. It was all stray bullets. So why should we tell a story where in which the victim is guilty?"

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