Archives in Crises - Insights into Brazilian Cultural Preservation

“Archives in Crises - Insights into Brazilian Cultural Preservation” is a program meant to address the numerous difficulties facing the film preservation industry in Brazil today. Since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Cinemateca Brasileira, Brazil’s most important film archive has undergone a complete crisis as the government has stripped the employees of their jobs and salaries, leaving one of the world’s most precious film collections in jeopardy of serious damage. In this program, we’ll be talking a lot about the Cinemateca Brasileira, as archivist Ines Aisengart Menezes sheds light on what the day-to-day workflow was like there over the past four years, while Cinemateca do MAM director Hernani Heffner provides his broader thoughts on the film preservation situation in Brazil.

We’ll also be featuring works that deal with numerous other facets of Brazilian film preservation that have been under-discussed internationally. Professor and archivist Lila Foster will be talking about the home-movie collection of LUPA, the AV preservation section of the Cinema department at Federal Fluminense University. Archivist Débora Butruce provides insights from personal experiences of preserving films and digitally restoring them in Brazil, and archivists Rafael de Luna Freire and Fábio Vellozo present a list of Brazilian films that need preservation attention immediately.

Lastly, this program proudly features free one-month streaming of Carlos Adriano’s 1998 experimental film A Voz e o Vazio: A Vez de Vassourinha (1998), along with a list by and an interview with the director. We present this film about the once-forgotten samba singer Vassourinha with the hopes that it can spark a new conversation about the importance of preserving materials, lest Brazil’s cultural memory become forgotten.