Due in part to the severe cuts in welfare and social services under Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the president of Brazil since 1994, life in the favelas (the poor districts surrounding Rio de Janeiro) has deteriorated noticeably. Criminal elements and drug traffickers have seized control of the favelas in recent years, displacing and murdering respected community leaders. Earlier this year, Benedita da Silva, a black woman from the Workers Party, became governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro and launched a crackdown on the drug lords and criminal elements. She has reduced the homicide rate by 35 per cent, which means that 500 fewer people will die compared to the year before.
For more than two decades, the new cinema movement, officially launched in Viña del Mar, Chile, in 1967, staunchly fought off the Hollywood model of production and audience reception. Alternatives were devised to distribution and exhibition, which challenged and altered the dominant patterns of cinematic culture. Their influence is still felt today, not only in film production, but also in the established academies, amongst the critics and in the state–funded agencies for the development of national cinemas.
International events suffer peculiarly from the impact of the mass media on the formation of ‘public opinion’. Unlike home reporting, there are no alternative channels to balance the ‘message’.
The media not only constitutes almost the sole source of information for the images and attitudes that they create. They also perpetuate historically inherited stereotypes and cultural imaginaries that form part of the national collective memory bank.
The imperial imaginary