Under the curious title Tupi or Not Tupi: Cannibals vs. Vampires, the second cycle presented by Punto de Vista in its 7th edition explores cannibalism in culture and film, a movement that originated in colonial countries revolting against the colonial culture by means of cannibalism rather than rejection, that is, by absorbing, digesting, and processing the culture of the invaders, mixing it with the local culture, and putting victimisation aside to proudly claim a new, necessarily hybrid, identity. The films produced under the spell of this paradoxical impulse is fascinating, contradictory, all-engulfing, and disturbing, as shown by the films to be screened in this cycle.
Born in Brazil with Oswald de Andrade’s “Cannibal Manifesto” (1928), the cannibal paradox has developed to encompass fascinating forms of non-fiction film that explore culture and identity clashes without showing cannibals but exercises in cannibalism, vampirisation, or anthropophagy instead. Now, in the early twenty-first century, cannibal procedures are not confined to Brazil or Latin America: they appear in cultural products all over the world, showing their contradictory, all-engulfing, and disturbing nature. This is why this cycle includes films from the US, Australia, Finland, France, Colombia and, of course, Brazil.
Beginning with Arthur Omar’s emblematic mock documentary Triste Trópico (Brazil, 1974), an imaginary biography of Doctor Arthur Alves Nogueira (1892-1946), who after getting his medical degree from the Sorbonne and sharing adventures with Picasso, Aragón, Éluard, and Breton, returns to Brazil to become an indigenous messiah and, eventually, a cannibal, Tupi or Not Tupi is a historical approach to film explorations of colonialism and the relationships between cultures from unusual perspectives.
The following films will be screened in this cycle:
Les statues meurent aussi (France, 1953), by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, one of the first films to approach colonialism; Cannibal Tours (New Zealand, 1988), by Dennis O’Rourke, about a fun encounter in Papua New Guinea; First Contact (Australia, 1982), by Robin Anderson and Bob Connolly; BabaKiueria (Australia, 1986), by Don Featherstone; Tigrero: A Film That Was Never Made (Finland, 1994), by Mika Kaurismäki; Triste Trópico (Sad Tropic, Brazil, 1974), by Arthur Omar; Agarrando pueblo (Los vampiros de la miseria) (Colombia, 1977), by Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo; Serras da desordem (The Hills of Disorder, Brazil, 2005), by Andrea Tonacci; and Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (USA, 1968), by William Greaves.