Brazilian director of refugee odyssey laments far-right attack
Entertainment Live: The reality of her homeland’s lurch to the far right has seen artists branded as leftists and criminals, laments Brazilian director Christiane Jatahy, who only wishes her theatre piece on migration were actually a fiction.
The documentary-style work by the 51-year-old Rio-born Jatahy is loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey, taking as its theme the travails of exiled refugee protagonists for whom the past is as harrowing as their future is uncertain. In “The Lingering Now”, Jatahy carefully examines the painful complexities of a refugee’s existence that earned her a standing ovation at the Avignon Festival in southern France.
There, she denounced what she termed a “campaign of criminalisation” of artists in her own country since the arrival in Brazil’s presidential palace in January of former army captain Jair Bolsonaro.
“It’s a very difficult time to do theatre and cinema,” explains Jatahy. “They have cut subsidies, it’s a means of gagging us,” she tells AFP, having at times during the production appearing to be on the verge of tears.
“The Lingering Now” (O Agora que demora) is not a piece of theatre in the classic sense, but rather an epic documentary blended with fiction which flits from film to stage and back again.
The theatre piece, which will tour Europe from September, follows their respective journeys as each reads, in their own language, extracts of the Odyssey before switching to recounting their own journey into exile.
Dhaka 13 July (campuslive24.com)//MIH