Press Notes

Genre Short Documentary
Duration 30 Minuten
Country Brasilien / Deutschland
Aspect Ratio 2,385:1
Format Color DCP 2K
Sound 5.1 surround
Language Portugiesisch
Subtitles Deutsch / Englisch
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Since a strong political and economical crises distabilized the country in 2014, Brasil has found its way back to nationalism and conservatism - after only 35 years have passed since the military dictatorship ended. 


With the election of far-right politicians in every level of power, freedom and culture have suffered under censorship and oppression. Minorities fear for their lives and women - especially black, indigenous and trans women - have to be constantly fighting for their  basic rights. But in dark times, music finds a way to rise against oppression and give women a voice.

Portraits of Resistance follows closely the lives of female musicians and their work fighting for democracy and human rights with their music. They are powerful voices from the favelas, the LGBTQ+ Scene and the feminist movements.  They inspire women in a land divided by politics and hate, to stand up for their rights  and fight for their freedom - whatever it means.


Violence against women is 74% higher in Brazil then the global average.

60,018 assaults against women in only one year (2017).

Only 10,4% of black women manage to graduate from school.

The role of Music

Music is a universal language that reaches places where education and empowerment have failed to arrive. In places like favelas and ghettos, the brazilian funk culture and rap have grown strong. Many women are using these platforms, as performers, to bring awareness about domestic violence, reproduction rights, gender issues and to discuss female sexuality openly.

The political role of music has been present in the country's history since the colonial times. From Samba to Capoeira, Brazilian Funk to Rap and from Bossa Nova to Tropicalia, music has been used as a powerful tool of political resistance. Specially during the military dictatorship from 1964-1985, when many

artists and musicians who criticized the regime or spoke about themes considered too liberal, were tortured and murdered  Today, Brazil lives again in difficult times, where populism and fascism have divided the country . The position of the government has been made clear: with the Minister of Culture citing Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, and the president cutting culture funds and censoring art works.

In the last 3 years, more then 40 artistic works have been censored, because they handled themes such as Racism, Religion, Gender, Feminism or criticized directly the government. Brazil is also to date the 4th land in the world with the highest number of activists assassinated. In these numbers is also the murder of Marielle Franco. In 2019 she was shot four times inside her car for being the most voted gay black woman in Brazil and fighting strongly against the violence of the military police in black communities. Two of the musicians in the film were close friends to her and have been personally received threats against their lives.

Research - Links - Independent journalists of the Goethe Institute, supported by a list and a map of the cases of censorship since 2017 in Brazil. - "Stop the Killings" analysiert die Ursachen für die Tötung von Menschenrechts-AktivistInnen in Brasilien, Kolumbien, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexiko und den Philippinen. Artikel von Thomas Milz für die DW über den Mord von Marielle Franco, Aktivistin für Menschenrechte in Rio de Janeiro. - die oben genannten Statistiken über die Gewalt gegen Frauen stammen aus Daten von die UNO-Frauen (United Nations Organisation für Frauenrechte). - aktuelle Mordraten Daten von der "Institute for Applied Economic Research" und der "Brazilian Forum for Public Security". - Auswahl an diversen Bücher, die als Recherche gelten, über die Rolle von Musik in der Militärdiktatur von Brasilien zwischen 1964-1985. - "Frauen in der Favelas: Frauenmacht in Volksgebieten" von Nilza Rogéria Nunes - Promotion in Sozialarbeit, Master in Psychosoziologie und Abschluss in Sozialarbeit an der Bundesuniversität in Rio de Janeiro. Professorin an der PUC Universität Rio de Janeiro. - Monographie von Raíra Gomes Garcia an der Federal University Juiz de Fora, über die Frauenrolle in der Musik von 1941 bis 2004 unter der Beratung von Prof. Dr. Potiguara Mendes Junior.

© 2020 Portraits of Resistance - Dokumentarfilm

  • YouTube
  • Instagram