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The Future’s Reverse: Dystopia and Precarity in Adirley Queirós’s Cinema

  • Cláudia Mesquita
Chapter
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)

Abstract

The staging of uncertain present scenarios and the speculation of “future times” have become ways for contemporary Brazilian cinema to color its dystopian representations of the country’s big cities experiences in postapocalyptic tones. Testimonies and other documentary formats coexist with fictional treatments, including a deliberately precarious dialogue with classical genres. Some films present an intricate time construction, in which the “present” is between present reality and a speculation about the future, and the past, if it is ever there, comes in the form of ruins and objects of obsolete technology which remain in the filmed locations. This chapter looks at the work of Adirley Queirós, a filmmaker from Ceilândia (a satellite town created in 1971 to house slum dwellers removed from Brasília), focusing on A cidade é uma só? (2012), Branco sai, preto fica (2014). In these films, the dystopian speculation comes as a response to concrete historical events: the planning, construction, and occupation of the Brazilian capital. Contrary to the aesthetics of erasure and the decontextualizing break with the past of Brasília’s modern urban ideals, the cinema of Queirós turns itself towards the recovery of History, taking detours through fiction, which becomes in turn the preferred space for testimonies and archive images. In his films, the inventive appropriation of archive footage, classic film genres and real memories allows for the narrative development of what remains of the past, as well as of the precarious present of Ceilândia’s experience.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cláudia Mesquita
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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