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Our screening of Jogos Dirigidos will be preceded by Miranda Pennell’s short film You Made Me Love You (2005, UK, 4 mins), in which a troupe of 21 ballet dancers strives to make or keep eye contact with an unpredictably moving camera.

Jogos Dirigidos is set in Várzea Queimada, in the Sertão of Piauí, the backcountry of the northeastern Brazilian state. Amongst the town’s population of about 900 inhabitants, there is an unusually large deaf population. Access to water and public investment is scarce for everyone, as well as to the learning of Libras, the official Brazilian sign language. In the face of many challenges, Várzea Queimada’s deaf community have created their own language. As de Andrade himself has said, ‘they respond with creation, they invented their own language; they are full of vitality and a lot of strength.’

The film features 18 local men and women from the community undertaking games and exercises together and sharing spontaneous stories with each other, which include expressions of belonging, exchanges about social life in the arid hinterlands, the challenges of raising and caring for children, their experiences of frequent harassment, and their memories of lost loved ones.

Lilia Moritz Schwarcz has written: ‘De Andrade’s work calls attention to … ‘social silences’: structural problems most would simply rather not address.’ The ‘difficult-to-translate puns and street slang’ within the film are she suggests ‘further evidence of the way he plays with the social ambiguities of language to tease at their underlying contradictions.’

Film by Jonathas de Andrade, in collaboration with Marcelo Rosenbaum and Instituto A Gente Transforma, and was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    57 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Rating
  • Director
    Jonathas de Andrade
  • Producer
    Vanessa Barbosa
  • Cast
    Celina Barbosa de Carvalho, Claudiana Barbosa de Carvalho, Cleide Evani de Araújo Barros, Denilson de Carvalho, Elizabete Isabel da Cruz Barbosa, Eulálio Barbosa de Carvalho, Francisco Antônio da Silva, Francisco Ricardo de Carvalho, Filho Gildeto, Silva Batista, Irene Joana da Silva, Julia Maria Barbosa Laise de Araújo Barros, Luzia de Araújo Barros, Manoel Francisco de Carvalho, Manoel Sebastião Barbosa, Maura Barbosa de Carvalho, Reginaldo João Barbosa Solandia, Isabel Barbosa
  • Cinematographer
    Ivo Lopes
  • Editor
    Tita, Fábio Costa Menezes
  • Composer
    Homero Basílio