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Jongo Fever

Katia Lund and Lili Fialho
Brazil, 2016, 64 min.

In Portuguese with English subtitles.
This film is family friendly.

It is said that Jongo was conceived in Angola but was born in the Paraiba coffee plantations of Brazil. The Afro-Brazilian rhythms and dance of Jongo eventually settled and flourished in the Rio de Janeiro favela of Serrinha. Jongo was originally only practiced by white-haired elderly and only men could drum and the cultural practice faced an uncertain future in the age of discrimination and prejudice against Afro-Brazilian cultural practice. This important cultural patrimony was saved and nourished by innovation, love, and courage of women of Serrinha such as the 95-year-old Tia Maira, Pretinho, Suelen, Deli, Luiza, Dyonne, and Lazir.

Director's Statement

Jongo: What is it? Most Brazilians have never heard of it. We are Brazilian directors very interested in Afro Brazilian culture, but did not know Jongo. Jongo is alive and strong only in certain communities like Serrinha where it has been preserved and passed down in secrecy. Its leaders are now mostly women, and they resist and fight back when Jongo is attacked and threatened by new forms of anti-African aggression. In today's world, we crave roots, community and belonging, and we wonder where to begin rebuilding such basic human principles. Jongo provides some clues and teaches survival for generations.

Category: Documentary.
Themes: Community, Culture, Music, Women, World Cinema.

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