This week marks the US distribution debut of the Brazilian movie "Antonia" and it also coincides with the start, this Friday, of the second season of the TV show that inspired the flick.
The movie by director Tata Amaral offers a poetic look at such difficult issues of violence, racism, and sexism in contemporary Brazil with this vibrant and uplifting tale of fourfemale rappers straining to make a name for themselves while performing on the outskirts of São Paolo. Preta (Negra Li), Mayah (Quelynah), Barbarah (Leilah Moreno) and Lena (Cindy) provide back-up vocals for a popular rap act, yet despite their success with the group, the talented female singers know well that they have what it takes to strike out on their own. Since we're not talking Hollywood here but rather the "Third World" and "our" far more ideologically candid approach to cinema, all sorts of female-specific messy real life issues run interference on their creative aspirations, including pregnancy, single motherhood, abortion and compulsive machista womanizing. Also of interest, is that these Brazilian females are actual aspiring performers, which lends additional grit, energy and authenticity to the story.