Director: Eliza Capai | 93 min | 2019 | Brazil
“An urgent and electrifying collage of out-in-the-streets footage and raw, heartfelt testimonial.”
- Hebe Tabachnik, Seattle International Film Festival
Director Eliza Capai focuses on social justice issues. Her previous feature, 2016's 'The Tortoise and the Tapir', investigated the gigantic hydroelectric plants built and planned in the middle of the Amazon rainforest during Brazil’s worst drought in decades.
'Your Turn' embeds itself in the student takeover of schools in response to proposed educational budget cuts. Shot in the midst of the protests, using the activists’ own images, the film’s form perfectly matches the explosive expression of radical, democratic activism.
Amid the struggles and protests, the arguments of the youthful protagonists, the director is in her comfort zone. Her parents were activists, and both spent time in prison. Eliza grew up hearing about the struggles of the student movements.
Three high school students – Marcela Jesus, Nayara Souza, and Lucas ‘Koka’ Penteado – narrate 'Your Turn', each jostling for screentime and space to pull attention towards their own specific interests: feminism, LGBTQ+ struggles, and anti·racism.
Eliza Capai captures the rage of a generation fighting against a future of diminished opportunities and the hard-won hope their movement gave a nation and the world.
In June of 2013, Brazil saw giant marches; millions of people took to the streets to protest against against the raising of bus fares. That soon changed.
In the same way that last year's protests in Hong Kong quickly expanded, from a single issue to a much wider venting of long-suppressed feelings of frustration with a much wider range of government actions or inaction, the protests in Brazil expanded into much larger scale dissent.
From a protest against rising bus fares, to students occupying over 200 schools to protest proposed budget cuts to the state's public school system.
The students' actions brought a sense of hope that this might be the beginning of a great transformation. It was unthinkable that three years later, Brazil would elect its first extreme right-wing president, Jair Messias Bolsonaro.
But Brazil did elect him and, two months after Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration, 'YourTurn' premiered in the Generation session at the Berlinale, winning the Amnesty International Film Award and the Independent Peace Film Prize.
Previous festival selections include:
Berlinale, winner: Amnesty International Film Award,
winner:Independent Peace Film Prize