Truth or reconciliation without prosecutions?

26 September 2011 by Mariângela Guimarães

When I first watched ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian black comedy, at the cinema in Brazil, years after it was originally released, I was still a teenager. I remember finding it funny that black dots popped up on the screen to cover up sexual acts and parts of the body that we weren’t supposed to see. This was at the end of the 1970s and Brazil was under a military dictatorship that did things much worse than censoring film scenes. Every time I mention something from those years, like that experience at the movies, I notice that many people, and even younger Brazilians, seem to forget that the country was once ruled by a repressive regime.

Most people know about the horrors of military dictatorships in other South American countries, like Chile and Argentina. But less is known about Brazil. One reason might be that Brazil has never thoroughly examined its recent, dark past. Furthermore, much of what happened during the dictatorship years, from 1964 to 1985, is still being discovered by the lifting of other big black dots.

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