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  • "Olhar Estrangeiro" is a documentary about Brazil mostly for foreigners, but I do not believe that there is an international distribution of this DVD based on the number of votes in IMDb (51) and the absence of the "Buy it at Amazon" button. The exceptional Lucia Murat exposes the clichés and stereotypes of the cinema industry about Brazil and Rio de Janeiro through footages of about eighteen movies entwined with interviews of personalities related to them, and the effect of this wrong information in ordinary people. It is funny to see that most of these movies have not been even shot in Brazil, and actors, actresses, directors and producers have not even visited Brazil but at least they are aware of the fantasy they make.

    The documentary shows hilarious footages of "Blame it on Rio" (with women in topless that is forbidden in Rio and with a little monkey on the beach); "The Champ"; "L'Homme de Rio"; "Sällskaps Resor" (a.k.a. "Sällskapsresan"); "Next Stop, Wonderland" (where the character performed by Hope Davis is invited to go to the beach in São Paulo, an industrial city that has no beaches); "Si tu Vas à Rio… tu Meurs" (with the transsexual Roberta Close); "T'empêches Tout le Monde de Dormir"; "Samba" (that was canceled and never released); "Wild Orchid"; "The Forbidden Dance" (a.k.a. "The Forbidden Dance is Lambada"); "Anaconda"; "Brenda Star"; "The Burning Season"; "Le Fils du Français"; "Le Grabuge"; "The Thomas Crown Affair"; "Svarta Palmkronor"; and "The End of the River". Further, in more than forty foreign movies, the outlaws flee to Brazil. Lucia Murat did not mention, but it certainly is a side effect of the British criminal Ronald Arthur "Ronnie" Biggs that escaped from the Wandsworth Prison in 1970 after participating in the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and found a sanctuary in Brazil since he could not be extradited because the United Kingdom did not benefit from reciprocity of extradition to Brazil.

    Lucia Murat interviews Tony Plana, Bo Jonsson, Charles Peters, Michael Caine, John Voight, Hope Davis, David Weisman, Gérard Lauzier (that speaks an excellent Portuguese), Zalman King, Edouard Luntz, Greydon Clark, Larry Gelbart, Philipe de Broca, Philippe Clair and Robert Ellis- Miller and most of them admit that the studios are the main responsible for this wrong look of Brazil.

    Lucia Murat does not forget to show that during the period of the Good Neighbor Policy of the United States of America with Latin America to gather allied to fight in World War II, Carmen Miranda was invited to move to America where she built a successful career and is partially responsible for the exotic view of Brazil. In the same period, Walt Disney released in 1942, Zé Carioca. During the Dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas, Orson Welles was invited by RKO Studios to make a documentary on the Brazilian carnival but it has never been released since the great director and actor showed the reality of Brazil and not what the studio wanted him to show.

    Summarizing, "Olhar Estrangeiro" is an interesting work of research and highly recommended to people interested in improving their culture and, who knows, come to Brazil on the next vacation to see "in loco" the real country and Brazilian people. My vote is nine.

    Title (Brazil): "Olhar Estrangeiro" ("Foreign Look")
  • guiverissimo18 September 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I liked seen a documentary about those stereotypes about Brazilian culture. For me, it is not a bad documentary, but she could have developed a little more. It lacks a consistent point of view. I mean that as Brazilian guy, cause I couldn't see where she wanted to get with this 70min of interviewing people without a strict point. If it was to prove that they have a misconstructed image of Brazil, OK... she got that, but wasn't it her prerogative in first place? I understand her state of mind and feelings of I GOT ENOUGH OF THAT. It's OK when you associate Germany with sausage, its just a food, or Ireland with whiskey... just a typical drink.

    But what she is concerned is that the Brazilians are associated with PIÑA COLADA (not a Brazilian drink), monkeys on the beach (there never was such thing), BANANA HATS, COCONUT BIKINIS (if women were supposed to used them, cause the stereotypes are HOT TOPLESS AMAZON LADIES lying on the sand), CHACHACHA (come on!!!) It's like BRAZIL and Mexico are the same thing... Or Bolivia and Argentina as pretty much the same as Cuba. She is concerned on undoing this false image that everyone has about Brazil. She is not worried about people recognizing us with our colorful sexy Carnival or good soccer... she is trying to show people where they go wrong.

    She is trying to show a more realistic view of this HUGE country that is not only CAIPIRINHA, SAND AND HOT WEATHER. And also trying to make people distinguish the HUGE variety between the countries that form SOUTH America. We are HERMANOS... but we don't even speak the same language.

    For me she should have been a little more critical on her work, it lacks a better closing (or opening) to the topic.
  • I really though this could be a great movie. I like documentaries. This one was supposed to have some great actors speaking to the camera about Brazil, so I was eager to give it a try and see for myself.

    The director spend most (if not all) of the movie pretending to analyze which kind of view most foreign people have from Brazil, some after seeing a movie where Brazil is depicted, some a long time after they actually participated in such a movie and others that might have directed one.

    At first it is really boring, because she insists on picking on such tiny details that were incorrectly depicted. And again, and again... (as if the actors were guilty of not knowing Brazil profoundly before playing their part; or as if they actually wrote the script - ridiculous in any way)

    Then, it's really irritating, because we see that in fact she's on some kind of witch-hunt that can only do herself any good. Is it really anybody's fault if we think Carnival and Beautiful Women when we think of Brazil? Is it that bad? So, whose fault is it if we associate Scotland with Whiskey, Germany with Sausages, England with Fog, Italy with Pasta and so on? Come on...

    After all, this movie is a complete waste of time, except maybe for her, the director.