Repetições [Repetitions], 2017-2018, revisits the first play performed against the Brazilian military regime that lasted from 1964 to 1985. As an attempt to re-enact Arena Conta Zumbi (1965), performed by Teatro de Arena [Arena Theater]*, the film explores the context of its production through the memories and voice of one of its former actors, Izaias Almada. Filmed in the former headquarters of the group and using some dramaturgical techniques developed by Teatro de Arena, the project deals with the idea of repetition as a possibility of transmitting the memory of an experience, and also as a symptom, a return of a poorly elaborated trauma.
*About Teatro de Arena:
Teatro de Arena was a Brazilian theater group that operated between the 1950s and 1970s. Founded in 1953, the Arena sought to renovate and produce dramas that reflected the Brazilian experience, as opposed to the theater productions heavily influenced by European and North American repertoire. In 1956, Augusto Boal joined the group contributing to the development of its dramaturgical techniques. On May 1, 1965, in response to the military coup, the group debuted Arena conta Zumbi [Arena account Zumbi]. The musical, written by Gianfrancesco Guarnieri and Augusto Boal, talks about Zumbi dos Palmares, one of the most important activists fighting slavery, and the creation of Quilombo de Palmares, a community of escaped slaves. The play used the figure of Zumbi as a powerful symbol of resistance against the Portuguese empire and the enslavement of Africans, as a metaphor to visualize the struggle for freedom in the 1960s.