“A Bruddah’s Mind” – The Fight Against Fascism Through Film
Allie Eggen, contributor
From October 8th-14th, the Minneapolis Film Society hosted their 9th annual Cine Latino film festival, focused on highlighting Latine, Spanish and Portuguese artists and filmmakers. The hybrid festival hosted film screenings, seminars with the featured artists and cultural events both in person and online. I was lucky enough to watch the Brazilian movie “A Bruddah’s Mind (Cabeça de nego),” which was directed by Déo Cardoso.
The movie centers on Saulo, a young introverted man in Brazil. This character is Black, and closely follows the Black Panther movement in the United States. If you are interested or involved in social justice, this film is for you. Early in the movie, Saulo gets in a fight with a classmate after being called a racial slur. The school director tries to expel him, but he refuses to leave as an act of protest. His classmates mobilize around him, eventually challenging the school board and getting the entire neighborhood to support their cause. Overall, this film focuses on Saulo working to create positive change and promote racial equality in his school and neighborhood.
This film was released in 2020 with an introduction by the director that I highly recommend to anyone interested in social justice, especially around racial equality. The director, a man of color, intended the film to be a commentary on the presidency of Donald Trump and the ideas he promoted. In fact, Cardoso explicitly labeled the director of Saulo’s school as the “Donald Trump” of this story. Although the movie was adjusted to take place with characters and a setting Cardoso was intimately familiar with, it can not be emphasized enough how universal this story is. This film is entirely in Portuguese but it does have easy-to-understand English subtitles. Although I am fluent in Spanish, I still found this film to be extremely accessible to anyone with no Spanish or Portuguese background. It was intended to be a story that could take place anywhere, to anyone. Most of all, the director was hoping to inspire social change through this film, especially around racial equality.
“A Bruddah’s Mind” feels especially relevant to us as a college in Minneapolis, just blocks away from the Black Lives Matter protests centered on the murder of George Floyd last summer. The fight for racial justice echoes especially loud in our neighborhood, and this film is an excellent perspective on that fight.
The Cine Latino film festival will be over at the time of print, but if you are interested in learning more you can visit mspfilm.org/festivals/cine-latino to read more about the festival and to sign up for updates on future events.