Maurits Film [2008]

digital video
45 min.

Daniel Breda
Paulo Bruscky
Edson Fly
Caranguejo Uçá
Alexandro Silva de Jesus
Dirk Meewis
(Netherlands Bussiness
Support Office Recife)
Bárbara Wagner,
Eliane Rodrigues
Associação de Mulheres
de Nazaré da Mata

Beto Martins
Carlos Albuquerque

Wagner Braga

filmed on various locations in and around Recife

The diptych of Maurits Script and Maurits Film focuses on contemporary society with its multiplicity of desires and interests between different groups. In Maurits Script (2006), a script compiled of fragments from seventeenth century texts, amongst others reports by the Dutch West Indies Company based in Recife, is read aloud and discussed by a group of Dutch citizens. In Maurits Film a number of Brazilians from a contemporary Recife get up to speak.

Seven individuals or groups from the present-day Recife each represent one of the historical figures in Maurits Script. Thus, the Fluxus artist Paulo Bruscky is linked to Zacharias Wagener, assistant at the court of Johan Maurits; members of the pressure group Caranguejo Uçá of the Ilha de Deus – a fishing community in Recife – recite a poem about their political struggle, the chief representative of the Netherlands Business Support Office Recife is filmed during a telephone conversation with a client, and in Nazaré da Mata, a small city in the sugar producing regions around Recife, a female Maracatú group perform the musical ritual, originally only open to men, which begins with fragments from the minutes of the Political Councils of the 17th century. The period of Dutch rule is often idealized in Brazil. The stories about Johan Maurits van Nassau (known in Brazil as Maurício de Nassau) are part of the collective memory, whereby the current relationship between Europe and its former colonies also plays a role. Maurits Film is the fourth and last part of A Certain Brazilianness.

Production stills


Installation view, As Occasions, solo presentation at Tent. Rotterdam, 2008. Photograph by Bob Goedewaagen