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I Owe You a Letter About Brazil

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Connecting the country’s recent past and the turbulent present context, I Owe You a Letter About Brazil investigates the persistence of silence as a tool to erase memory.

Filmmaker Carol Benjamin untangles her grandmother’s intimate writings in an attempt to understand the story of their family against the brutal backdrop of the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964 – 1985).

Her father, César Benjamin, was arrested in August 1971 during student protests against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Although he was a juvenile, he was tried as an adult and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Thanks to the ardent campaigning of his mother Iramaya, working closely together with the Swedish branch of Amnesty International, he was released five years later.

Everything Benjamin knows about this dark period in her father’s life, she has heard from her grandmother, as César himself refuses to talk about it. Hoping to better understand this part of her family history, she travels to Sweden to meet with the people who were involved in the campaign for his release.

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