Zózimo Bulbul’s film is dedicated to Zumbi dos Palmares and to all Maroons dead and alive. It portrays the life of Aniceto, who was 72 years old at the time: a union leader, a stevedore at the Rio de Janeiro port and founder of Escola de Samba Império Serrano
A Deusa Negra is a love story that spans two centuries. In 18th century Yorubaland, Prince Oluyole is taken prisoner in the course of internecine warfare fanned by overseas slave traders. He is sold into slavery in Brazil. In present day Nigeria, at his father's deathbed, the young Babatunde promises to go to Brazil and search for traces of their once-enslaved ancestors. Beginning with a Candomblé ritual, his journey takes him ever deeper into this culture and, in a dream-like sequence, affords him a deeper understanding of his ancestors' suffering and powers of resistance. Balogun effortlessly links present with past, real with magical worlds and discourse with trance. The hypnotic atmosphere is also heightened by the music of the Nigerian drummer Remi Kabaka, which plays with repetitive patterns and distortions.
Quilombo dos Palmares was a real-life democratic society, created in Brazil in the 17th century. This incredibly elaborate (and surprisingly little-known) film traces the origins of Quilombo, which began as a community of freed slaves. The colony becomes a safe harbor for other outcasts of the world, including Indians and Jews. Ganga Zumba (Toni Tornado) becomes president of Quilombo, the first freely elected leader in the Western Hemisphere. Naturally, the ruling Portuguese want to subjugate Zumba and his followers, but the Quilombians are ready for their would-be oppressors. The end of this Brave New World is not pleasant, but the followers of Zumba and his ideals take to the hills, where they honor his memory to this day. Writer/director Carlos Diegues takes every available opportunity to compare the rise and fall of Quilombo with the state of affairs in modern-day Brazil.