Espero tu (re)vuelta
Espero tu (re)vuelta, Eliza Capai, Brasil, 2019, 93'
*Screening curated by Renan Camilo, Ekhiñe Etxeberria, Florencia de Mugica and Laida Mendia (Film Curating Studies students of Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola).
This documentary directed by Eliza Capai shows the fight of the student movements in Brazil from 2013 through to Jair Bolsonaro's presidency. The film won the Amnesty International Prize and the Peace Film Prize Berlinale.
Espero tu (re)vuelta explores the student fight through the eyes of three youths, all former secondary school students: Lucas Penteado, Marcela Jesús and Nayara Souza. Using their own voices, they take us through the waves of protests that occurred in 2013 in Brazil, culminating in the removal of Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and victory by presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. The film centres around the school occupations in 2015 in response to the education reorganisation announced by the government of the province of São Paulo under Geraldo Alckmin. It would have constituted the closure of more than 90 schools and the relocation of some 300 thousand students to other facilities. Students occupied more than 200 schools under the motto Occupy and Resist and inspired young people across the country.
The three narrators offer their own points of view and experiences but have in common their activism in support of quality public education and a more inclusive city. Battles for collective rights also resulted in significant individual achievements; debates on feminism, LGBTQ issues and anti-racism took shape as part of the occupations. Young people transformed their relationships and how they see and present themselves in the world.
TRAILER (Spanish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klmRsO4kVZQ&t=19s
TRAILER commented by Eliza Capai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXIAMLqdo_w
With the growing political, social and economic crisis in Brazil, particularly from 2013 onwards, students took to the streets and occupied schools in what constituted mass protests demanding quality public education and a truly inclusive country. YOUR TURN follows the student protests from the marches of 2013 through to the victory of president Jair Bolsonaro in 2018. Inspired by and put together using the language of the movement itself, the film is guided by the voices of three students who represent the central axes of the fight and dispute the narrative as they explain conflicts within the movement and reveal its complexity.
The original title ESPERO TU (RE)VUELTA was created in 2015 by Leto William as part of his poster series titled Oficina (Workshop).
*The panel for the Amnesty International Prize said that Espero tu (re)vuelta depicts current affairs, despite what happened between 2013 and 2018, in a different political context to the one in which the prize was awarded. The following full transcription of the commentary by Feo Aladag, Austrian director and actress and member of the judging panel, does justice to the film:
Imagine that your children are marching through the streets because the government wants to close their schools. Imagine that your children are being showered with tear gas and struck by police truncheons. This is part of Brazil's brutal reality. Seventy years following the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, children and young people in Brazil are deprived of their human right to a quality education. Hundreds of public schools are targeted by government policies that neglect the need and right of all to an education, irrespective of their social circumstances. Poor and disadvantaged families are particularly affected. But the youth of Brazil will not accept this without showing intense, clear and brave resistance.
This year’s winner of the Amnesty International Prize breaks with conventional structures to form a non-linear documentary narrative. Young people take centre stage in their fight for democracy and education. It also shows how these young people experience relationships based on solidary and democratic values. They are this way out of obligation and, at the same time, irresistibly, never allowing their voices to be silenced by the less brave and less committed among them. They stand up for their goals, they articulate their dreams, their hopes and their human rights, hence they are always one step ahead of all those around them. This extraordinary film gives us hope and inspires us, through all generations and beyond borders, to raise our own voice and take a position in defence of our basic human rights. And one of the most basic human rights we have to defend, and which we must defend together, is education for all.
In acknowledging the prize, Eliza Capai says:
[…] Not even in my worst nightmares could I imagine that this film would premiere in the context in which Brazil currently finds itself. Brazil has just chosen the first president from the extreme right in its history. Jair Bolsonaro was elected with the promise of arming all worthy citizens in Brazil, and Brazil is a country which has always been, as Amnesty International knows well, has always been at the height of violence in the world. We are always at the height of violence against blacks, against the LGBTQ+ community and against women. Jair Bolsonaro promised to do away with all types of activism in Brazil and promised prison or exile for all red people, like us. Not even in my worst nightmare had I imagined that our former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who in 2018 topped all polls for who would be Brazil’s next president, wouldn't be able to run in the elections because he was detained by a judge called Sergio Moro, and that same judge is now the new Justice Minister for this new extreme-right president. For me, the image of Lula, like that of Marielle Franco, a black woman from the favelas of Río de Janeiro killed more than a year ago, are the faces of injustice in Brazil. They are the faces of this new government that tries to say: ‘You, the poor, do not deserve to be president of Brazil. Black women, shut your mouths. You, LGBTQ, go back into the closet. Women, get back in the kitchen.’ So, here, as a film director, a Brazilian woman, being here means many things, and not just for me. And being here with a film about students in Brazil, poor students, black students, who fight for the most basic things, is a great honour. This prize is for all those who fight for a better world, a world with justice, and for all students, young people and older people with a young mentality who fight for a more critical education across the world. Thank you very much.
Lucas is black and lives in São Paulo with his mum, dad and youngest brother. From a very young age, Lucas took part in TV advertisements and always dreamed of being an actor and singer. He was one of the leaders of the occupation of his school, Caetano de Campos, and became a popular figure in the movement because he wrote songs and poetry that went viral online. He was the winner of Slam Resistance, giving breathtaking performances in the Plaza Roosevelt in the centre of the city of São Paulo which always addressed racism and the union of all black people. His mother, Andrea, has always been part of black women’s social movements. Lucas recently joined the cast of the soap opera Viva la Diferencia (Long Live Difference), broadcast by Globo, and now presents NBA Freestyle on the Bandeirantes channel.
Marcela took part in the student occupations between 2015 and 2016. She occupied her own school in protest against a school reorganisation project by the government in the province of São Paulo. In 2016, she began her artistic training with the theatre piece ROZÁ. She later joined ColectivA Ocupación, led by Martha Kiss Perrone, and in 2017 acted in the São Paulo International Theatre Showcase with her performance of Invítame a una revolución donde yo pueda bailar (Invite me to a revolution where I can dance). In 2018, she acted and danced in the work titled Cuando se rompe quema (When it breaks it burns), her current project with ColectivA Ocupación. She even travelled to the UK with this piece, performing in Leeds and Manchester and giving theatre workshops to students at the University of Manchester.
Nayara is a university student, a woman, a feminist, bisexual, is 24 years old and was born in a city near São Paulo. She is former president of the State Union for Students in São Paulo (UEE- SP), an entity affiliated with the National Students’ Union (UNE), between 2017 and 2019. She cut her activist teeth in the fight of the student movements and in the political organisation of which she is a member: the Socialist Youth Union (UJS). She helped put together and approve the State Education Plan and she collaborated with secondary school students in fighting against school reorganisation by the then governor of the province of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin. She led the fight against the reallocation of public funds for school meals which resulted in the historic occupation of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of São Paulo (ALESP). She fought against management privatisation by mayor João Doria in the capital of São Paulo and against cuts to the student transport pass. She resisted the coup of 2016 and the advancement of fascist ideas. During this period, she fought against the authoritarian government of Jair Bolsonaro as part of the historic student movement in Brazil that battled cuts to public education, known as #TsunamiDeLaEducación.
Eliza Capai is a journalist and graduate of the Communication Faculty of the University of São Paulo. She completed her training with grant funding in OpenDocLab | MIT. She makes documentaries on issues linked to gender and society.
Eliza premiered her third feature film, YOUR TURN, at the Berlin Festival (2019), where she was awarded the Amnesty International Prize and the Peace Prize. The documentary was selected at more than 100 festivals and has attracted more than 20 awards. In 2016, she premiered her second feature film, O jabuti e a anta, which uses the perspectives of riverside dwellers and indigenous peoples to reflect on the gigantic hydroelectric projects in the Amazon. In 2014, her short film Severinas about female autonomy in the Brazilian paramo was a finalist for the García Marqués Prize for Ibero-American Journalism. Her first feature film, Tan lejos es aquí (2013), takes a journey through Africa to analyse the situation for women. It premiered with the prize for best film at the Rumos Showcase at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival and won other awards in Brazil and elsewhere. Eliza has directed and written screenplays for various short films and series for TV and the Internet, including the medium length-film #Resistencia (2017) which was shown independently in more than 80 cities, and the award-winning short film En el lento deprisa del tiempo, as well as the series Está prohibido hablar en Angola in collaboration with the Public Agency for Investigative Journalism.