Jorge Bodansky & Orlando Senna: Iracema (Iracema - Uma Transa Amazônica)

Iracema (Iracema – Uma Transa Amazônica), Jorge Bodanzky & Orlando Senna, 86’, Brazil, FRG, ZDF 2.12.1976, OV with German subtitles

A documentary feature film is what Jorge Bodanzky calls his attempt to “put together typical everyday happenings from the Amazon region and its destruction in such a way that a basic narrative pattern emerges from the documentary arrangement”. The programme text of Das kleine Fernsehspiel is more precise: “The industrial development of the Amazon by domestic and foreign corporations, the destruction of the primeval forest, the construc- tion of a gigantic road system across the South American continent, the displacement and enslavement of the indigenous population through ruthless industrial expansion, the Brazilian economic miracle with its boom of speculators and gamblers, provide the set- ting for the story of the fifteen-year-old Iracema.” A film that could hardly be more dramatic and topical even after 50 years.

Jorge Bodanzky (*1942) is a Brazilian filmmaker, cinematographer and photographer. His feature film Iracema, a co-production with Das kleine Fernsehspiel, was screened at the Cannes Critics’ Week in 1976. He has made many documentary films returning time and again to the Amazon, the exploitation and destruction of which he continues to address in his works today, most recently in 2021 in a miniseries for HBO. For Das kleine Fernsehspiel, he made Das Land Miramar (1976) and The Third Millennium, which also screened in the Berlinale Forum in 1981. Orlando Senna (*1940) is a Brazilian scriptwriter and co-director of Iracema and Das Land Miramar. He too frequently focuses on the Amazon, most recently in the documentary Idade da Água (2018).