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“Besouro” Makes It International Debut (Festivals Finds)

besouro_film01

Besouro was a Shadow And Act Film Find feature last year, in June, with a trailer that thrilled just about everyone who saw it – or at least, peaked interest.

Read my original post on the film HERE.

It screened in its country of origin – Brazil – last October, and, as far as I know, it hasn’t been shown anywhere outside of Brazil… until now anyway.

I was just looking over the list of films invited to the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival next month and guess what film I saw, listed in the Panorama section of the festival?

So, this is likely its first public screening outside of Brazil, which is a good thing. Why? Well, it means that there’s a good chance that it’ll travel, and we all just might get to see the film, whether at a local festival, or an eventual theatrical release, or on DVD.

If you need a reminder… the story goes… The son of João Grosso and Maria Haifa, Manuel Henriques, learned capoeira from Tio Alípio (an ex African slave), around the Rua do Trapiche de Baixo, located at Santo Amaro da Purificação (Bahia). Tio Alípio gave Manuel Henriques the nickname of “Besouro Mangangá” due to his ability to quickly disappear whenever he was around a belligerent group or facing danger. As he was a famous and strong capoeirista, word spread and soon was born the legend that Besouro Mangangá had supernatural powers. He could not only disappear when facing danger, but he could also turn into a big black beetle (Besouro translates to beetle in English).

In 1924, at the age of 27, Besouro Mangangá was caught in an ambush, stabbed and killed with a “ticum” knife (type of knife made from a bull’s bone). Notable names in the capoeira world like Mestre Cobrinha verde (his cousin) and Siri de Mangue were his students.

The 60th Berlin International Film Festival will be held from February 12 to 21, 2010, and the jury will be presided over by Werner Herzog. If anyone out there who reads this blog is lucky enough to be present for the festival, be sure to let me know!

Check out the Portuguese-language trailer below & stay tuned:

And here’s an English-language preview which contains some of the footage in the above trailer, along with some new footage, some behind-the-scenes footage, and an English voice-over:

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