Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"Ilha das Flores/Isle of Flowers" (1989) - a fake-o-mentary

There has been 16 years since the release of "ilha das flores" short film by brazilian director Jorge Furtado, in 1989.
The site IMDB has a lot of good reviews about it. See Here

Most of all tells that the film is a profound critic towards capitalism. It tells the story of a tomato that become pig-food before be used as meal for human beings.

But the reality was worse than that.

Here is the commentary that I added to IMDB site. Hope they publish it:

"I believe that Michael Moore had learned a lot with this film, but not
the essential. This documentary is not a documentary, really. It's a
dirty trick to charge capitalism for doing what its director wanted.
Its author, Jorge Furtado is a long time marxist-leninist addicted. 1989 was the year of the first presidential election in Brazil after the
military regime.It was the first time that Lula da Silva was running
for president as Worker's Party candidate. He tried more two times
before win in 2002. And Furtado's finger helped Lula and Worker's party during all this time.

The first schocking true about this film is that the reality supposedly
portrayed in it is totally fake.

In 2004, march, due to 15th anniversary of the film, Brazilian
newspaper "Zero Hora" interviewed the people who participated in the film.

They were show sharing spoiled-food with pigs. Or better: that the food that was rejected by pigs were used to feed humans beings.

The message was clear: capitalism turns people into a kind o animals, lower than pigs.

Reality: Furtado payed hot-dogs and cokes to people to fake it while
he was shooting. He told them that they all would become famous with the film. People told to "Zero Hora" that the filming was like a party to them. Furtado promised to return to show the film. Never came back.

They only saw the film years later, and became very angry about it.
They became subject of other people's satire.

During these long fifteen years, this film has gained a lot of awards
worldwide.

It proves that a lie could be profiting. And it has nothing to do with
capitalism. It's just a show of cheap greed - by the author.

Link to Zero Hora http://zerohora.com.br"

4 comments:

Brad Freeman said...

The difference between you and the director of this film is that he is a talented artist with a message that he desires to communicate, while you are just an anonymous man jealous of his ability to communicate a message. This movie is not about capitalism, socialism or racism, it's about human nature and nature itself.

Luís Afonso said...

The is that the author lied. If he presented this film as fiction and not a 'documentary' it was ok. But he intended to fool not only the public but the people he managed to act as animals.
It´s not a question of talent, is how you sell your ideas. You can choose between the truth or trick. He preferred tricks and was a shame that his trick was only discovered fifteen years later...

Fernando Canto said...

Funny how EVERYTHING, in the end, turns into communism.

hobo_lobo_bonobo said...

A parable told by Jesus does not communicate a "true" story, but conveys truth through fiction. If Furtado's piece tries to do the same thing, I have no problem with that. Do people in the real world suffer from poverty? Does capitalism create inequities? If these are truths, why quibble over how to define the film?

Also, I think you have some naive views on journalism and documentary. Furtado presents his film as a documentary, but it is obviously not a piece of journalism. There are many aspects of the film, including editing, music, etc., that are used to convey an artistic idea. A documentary is not the same as a television news story. Artistic license is allowed. Furtado never tells us that he is a reporter writing a news story. He simply says that his film tells the truth.

And then there is this newspaper article. Are you certain that that newspaper has no bias? Do all pieces of journalism tell the unvarnished truth? Why is Furtado assumed to be a liar, while the newspaper's facts do not bear further scrutiny?

I think it's a very powerful little film, and an eye-opener. Those of us who have lived our entire lives enjoying the fruits of capitalism often do not stop and think how others may not be so lucky. The film certainly makes you think and question the status quo, and how many movies can claim that?