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Old scripts of the destructive culture industry

There is nothing new about Hollywood film award nominations. The selection follows a script of predictable winners as always, as most American film productions are. Last week, the names of the nominations were presented and some should not have been nominated, others were and others were not. In this dispute for the dreamed Oscar, we know that the colonial logic has always been dominant and beyond a mere statuette, racism has never ceased to operate beyond the ceremony, so why do we continue to get frustrated?

Already in the 95th edition of this event, there were few black people nominated and awarded in all these Oscar editions. In all that time, about 44 awards took place, mostly for supporting performances and original songs. In 2022, films that moved and surprised the public with powerful narratives and reflections were left out.

As was the case with the acclaimed Mulher Rei, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. A film full of representation that evoked the narrative of the Agojie warriors and the cultural dynamics of the Kingdom of Dahomet and the locations in Africa. Brilliant performances led by Viola Davis, in addition to the practically perfect costumes, dancing and script. Not least, the movie No, Don't Look! under the direction of Jordan Peele, it is rich in criticism within its narratives in a hybrid format between science fiction, mystery and terror that challenges us to understand the plot. But that was also left out.

The documentary by our Pindorama in Danish co-production with Neidinha Bandeira, Bitaté Uru Eu Wau Wau and Alex Pritz, O Território, just barely made the list of nominees. The film looks at a real situation that threatens our peoples and our ecosystems in the Uru-eu-wau-wau community. But for having come so far, the fact is historic.

When it comes to indigenous peoples in the presence of the film and Oscar circuit, we cannot forget that it was American films that reinforced and reinforce until today stereotypes about our peoples. Not to mention the remote protest by the sexist and misogynist protagonist of the film Godfather, in which the indigenous Apache, Sachen Littlefeather, was massacred by the cultural industry when representing him in the denial of the best actor award in 1973. Obviously, for him, a cis man white, did nothing. But she already suffered a sequence of attacks from the “stars” and an apology half a century later, as if it were going to change the violence she suffered.

Rewarding indigenous and black people means giving visibility and this will never be done by this increasingly racist and colonialist cultural industry. We need to sharpen our eyes towards a critique not of the advanced techniques of cinema, but about this war of narratives that are brought, which only violate and make our people invisible and still think they are doing a good job.

Texto por @taangahara

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