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Foundational FilmsEarly Cinema and Modernity in Brazil$
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Maite Conde

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290983

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290983.001.0001

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The Expedition Films of Major Luiz Thomaz Reis

The Expedition Films of Major Luiz Thomaz Reis

(p.156) 7 The Expedition Films of Major Luiz Thomaz Reis
Foundational Films

Maite Conde

University of California Press

Brazil’s Rondon Commission produced a number of documentaries, including Os sertões de Matto Grosso (The Hinterlands of Matto Grosso, 1912), Rituais e festas Bororó (Rituals and Festivities of the Bororó Indians, 1917), and Ronuro, Selvas do Xingú (Ronuro, Jungles of the Xingú Indians, 1924), which were directed by Major Luiz Thomas Reis. This chapter examines these films in detail. Analyzing their fascination with charting and mapping the lands and especially the bodies and cultures of indigenous peoples in Brazil’s Amazon basin, it looks at how the films’ spectacle of panoramic and anatomical difference were intimately linked to contemporary discourses concerning the constitution of a modern and progressive Brazil that, in particular, hinged on making both productive and profitable for Brazil’s future progress.

Keywords:   Major Luiz Thomas Reis, ethnographic films, Amazon, Rondon Commission, indigenous peoples

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