Abdias do Nascimento | Chicago Reader

Abdias do Nascimento

The subject of this 2011 Brazilian documentary was an early demonstrator for Afro-Brazilian civil rights, the founder of the enormously influential Black Experimental Theater (in the 40s), a professor at many prominent American universities (including Wesleyan and Yale), a senator, and a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Nascimento died in 2011, shortly after the completion of this documentary, and director AĆ­da Marques has some terrific interviews with him, conducted just prior to his death. But an overreliance on recent footage (much of which consists of other Brazilians' obsequious flattery), uneven pacing, and an oddly somber repeating piano motif lessens the power of Nascimento's biography.

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