Sílvio Tendler

1950 - 


Nationality : Brazilian

Sílvio Tendler is a Brazilian filmmaker whose main aim is to promote a critical reflection of contemporary Brazilian society and the world in general by making films about political history. The most notable characteristic of his filmmaking is his utopian perspective. He has filmed many documentaries in Brazil, most notably: the mini-series O Espírito da Utopia (The Spirit of Utopia), the film Utopia e Barbárie (Utopia and Barbarism) which took 19 years to be filmed, and his most recent film Privatizações: A Distopia do Capital (Privatisation: The Capital Dystopia). Tendler has come to be known as “the filmmaker of broken dreams” or “the filmmaker of losers”, due to the fact that he has filmed documentaries about Brazilian Great Utopians, such as the filmmaker Glauber Rocha, the guerrilla fighter Marighella and the former Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitscheck.


Tendler wanted to take into consideration every point of view, when making films about history, in order to highlight the different nuances of utopia during recent years. His method is to use interviews with important political activists and do intense research and frequent travelling, in order to present a more comprehensive overview of Brazilian utopia and also utopian protests across the world. For Tendler, the concept of memory is fundamental when making a documentary. It is possible to see this in his so-called “cinema de arquivo” (archive cinema), in which he uses the archive footage and photography of filmmakers he admires.



Tendler is still continuing to use cinema - non-commercially - as a way of promoting utopia. His most recent films, O Veneno está na Mesa (Venom on the Table) and Privatizações: A Distopia do Capital (Privatisation: The Capital Dystopia), denounce the social problems brought about by capitalist corporations and promote a path to utopia, encouraging us to faith in it.

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