Archive for August 14th, 2009

Film puts Brazil anti-nazi immigration policy under spotlight

August 14th, 2009

A film about a Polish refugee suspected of being a Nazi fugitive by Brazilian immigration authorities at the end of World War II aims to shed light on a recent period of Brazilian history little known to most people in the country today.

‘Tempos de Paz’ [Peacetime], which opens on Friday, starring Tony Ramos and Dan Stulbach focuses on the encounter between a customs official and former-torturer for President Getulio Vargas’ secret police.

Clauswitz [Stulbach], a former Polish actor who experienced at first hand the full horrors that the war inflicted on his country and people arrives in Brazil in search of a new life but finds himself accused of being a Nazi war criminal by customs official Segismundo [Ramos].

Based on a successful theatre production, the film looks at some of the most important moments in modern Brazilian history, including the Vargas regime and a new influx of immigrants that helped build Brazil into the country it is now.

Vargas, who ordered the detention of political prisoners in the run-up to the Second World War, but was later elected to the Brazilian presidency is said to have hedged his bets in waiting to see which side would likely come out on top before siding with the allies, before eventually sending troops to fight in Italy.

In the film, Segismundo, who fears revenge from former detainees now has the final say on who is allowed to stay in Brazil and has been given the task of preventing Nazis from entering the country as the Getúlio Vargas dictatorship tries to smooth over relations with the United States.

Shot in Rio de Janeiro over ten days at the end of last year, ‘Tempos de Paz’ is directed by Daniel Filho, co-producer of the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated ‘City of God’, the no-holds-barred portrayal of shantytown life in Rio de Janeiro.

“What interests me particularly is the massive displacement of populations for political reasons something that isn’t specific to the Second World War,” said scriptwriter Bosco Brasil, who adapted his play for the big screen.

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