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Ori cover image

Ori 1989


Distributed by Third World Newsreel, 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 550, New York, NY 10018; 212-947-9277
Produced by Raquel Gerber
Directed by Raquel Gerber
DVD , color, 90 min.

College - General Adult
Latin America, History, Social Studies

Date Entered: 06/04/2018

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

Spoken in Brazilian language with English sub-titles, this film covers the short life of Beatriz Nascimento, an activist, historian, Black woman, scholar, and visionary. She was a critical figure in Brazil’s Black Movement until her untimely death in 1995. Although she published only a handful of articles before she died and left only a few other recorded thoughts, her ideas about the symbolic relationship between quilombos (Afro-Brazilian maroon societies) and black subjectivity encourage us to re-imagine the meaning of Black liberation from a transnational, Black feminist perspective. Ori reflects on her life and intellectual contributions, making the argument that Nascimento should be considered a key figure in the radical Black tradition in the Americas.

“Ori is a window into the brilliance of Beatriz Nascimento, but it is a narrow one. It is narrow because the documentary itself reflects only a fraction of the recordings that she made while producing the film over the course of the decade from 1979–1989.” (Smith 2016) Her theoretical contributions in contemporary theoretical debates in African Diaspora and Latin American Studies highlights the need to deemphasize the United States and English-speaking experiences in current discussions of global Black intellectual traditions, while concurrently foregrounding black women’s contributions to Latin American philosophical and political thought.

Smith, Christen Anne. "Towards a Black Feminist Model of Black Atlantic Liberation: Remembering Beatriz Nascimento" Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, vol. 14 no. 2, 2016, pp. 71-87.