4 DAYS UNDER THE MAGICAL SUN OF
Over the past few years, slowly but steadily, Brazil has been climbing
the heights to become the 5th biggest economy in the world, and now it’s
even preparing to host two of the most important global events: the 2016
Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 World Cup. All this has
inspired the 5th Brazil Film Fest in Toronto to begin a celebration of
the diverse and rich culture of Brazil’s many states, starting in 2011
with the theme of Bahia, a place for everybody.
Bahia is the cradle of Brazil. The first Portuguese explorers arrived
there in 1500 and, years later, Salvador was chosen as the first capital
of the colony. This area has always had a fundamental role in the
Brazilian economy, actively participating during the sugar, rubber and
cocoa cycles until turning itself into a powerful site for the
petrochemical industry and a hot tourist destination.
The state is also a major cultural reference for the nation. During the
slave trade, 37% of all African slaves bought and sold were brought to
Brazil, usually landing in Salvador before being dispatched to other
locations. This made Bahia a unique place, with a strong African
influence. giving rise to special cultural phenomena like the Candomblé
religion, stemming from Yoruba origins; the Brazilian martial art, capoeira; the samba de roda traditional dance and also the afoxé musical
instrument and the axé music genre; plus a rich cuisine with a strong flavour of the West African coast.
Bahia is also the hometown of famous artists like the revolutionary film
director Gláuber Rocha; singer/composer Dorival Caymmi; poet Castro Alves; the mastermind behind bossa nova, João Gilberto; the folks from Tropicalismo, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia and Gal
Costa; poet Gregório de Matos; screenwriter Dias Gomes; writer João
Ubaldo Ribeiro; the internationally acclaimed singer Daniela Mercury;
actor Lázaro Ramos; singer Ivete Sangalo; actor Wagner Moura; the
creative musical genius of Carlinhos Brown; actor Vladimir Brichta; and
of course, the great writer Jorge Amado. But the state also welcomed and
fed the creativity of French photographer Pierre Verger; the Portuguese
writer Padre Antônio Vieira and Carybé, the Argentinian visual artist.
Now it’s time to bring this rich and unique culture from Bahia to Canada,
to show off the Afro-Brazilian style of life on the big screen at the
2011 Brazil Film Fest.
Check out the Photo Gallery!