Here is a master class on the History of Brazil and the genesis of its population: the documentary “O Povo Brasileiro” (The Brazilian People), based on the book of same name published by anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro in 1995. Subtitled in English, it offers a deep seven-hour approach of a complex topic and several cameo appearances by composers Chico Buarque and Tom Zé and literary critic Antônio Cândido, among many others.
Directed by Isa Grinspum, it is divided in chapters that deal with the influence of the natives (parts 1, 2 and 3), Portuguese (parts 4, 5 and 6) and Africans (Part 7, 8 and 9). Plus a series of chapters about their interactions (Encontros e Desencontros – parts 10, 11 and 12), and regional specificities (Brasil Crioulo – parts 13, 14 and 15; Brasil Sertanejo – parts 16, 17 and 18; Brasil Caipira – parts 19, 20 and 21; Brasil Sulino – parts 22, 23 and 24; Brasil Caboclo – parts 25, 26 and 27) and a conclusion (A Invenção do Brasil – parts 28, 29 and 30).
The story on how “O Povo Brasileiro” was written would certainly deserve another documentary. Darcy Ribeiro, an intellectual known for his lust for life and women, was a terminal cancer patient in 1995. He had lost one lung and his doctor told his family that he had a few days left to live. His reaction: he ran away from the hospital to hide at home, in the beach of Maricá, close to Rio de Janeiro, where he intended to finish his book – which he did in 45 days. He still survived for two more years. Surrounded by his many, many (female) admirers.