“To occupy is to resist” has become the Brazilian student slogan since 2015, when São Paulo’s students occupied more than 200 schools. Since then, occupying public buildings as a means to call attention to urgent themes, forcing the discussion through the media and public opinion, has become the students’ main way of fighting all over Brazil.

At the same time that the student struggle stood out as a main role, the crisis was established in Brazil’s politics, economy and morale. The fall of the president Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s return to the Hunger Map (UN), the rise of inflation and unemployment, as well as the corruption accusations regarding the main agents in the executive, legislative and judiciary areas, drove Brazil to another crisis: The lack of hope crisis. In this setting, the student movement blossoms as one of the largest forces of renovation, a light beam for the progressive sectors in society. Observing what happens now in the student movement is somehow finding openings to understand Brazil’s current crisis and possible new paths.

The documentary feature film, “#OpenLetter” (provisory title), starts from the archive material of some documentary filmmakers who followed the occupations of 2015 and 2016 in many Brazilian cities, the material of the main TV channel in Brazil (Rede Globo) and the unpublished material recorded by us during 15 months.

The feature film will debut in movie theaters. At this time, I look for interactive forms of projection that dialogue with the film’s own theme, where the audience can decide what will be the next sequence to be presented, in the same general assembly format that the student movement uses. In the same direction, I look for forms of collaborative installation in museums and online platforms.

Eliza Capai is a documentary filmmaker who focuses on subjects regarding gender and society. In 2008, she travelled for nine months from Panama to the United States, producing a series about women migration. In 2013, she released “Here is so far” in Rio’s International Film Festival, her first feature film, which won the award for Best Film in the New Trends Exhibition among other awards. The film talks about the female situation in a seven-month trip Eliza took on her own through Africa. In 2014, her short film “Severinas” was a finalist at Garcia Marquez Award for Iberian-American Journalism. The documentary investigates the process of female autonomy in the Brazilian outback. In 2016, she released her second feature film, “The Tortoise and the Tapir”. In 2017, she released the documentary “#Resistance” collectively, regarding the occupations in public buildings which took place during the process of Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment. The film was voluntarily released in more than 80 cities in Brazil, North America and Europe. She is currently involved in her third feature film, #OpenLetter, about the Brazilian student struggle.


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