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Palmares is a 17th-century quilombo, a settlement of escaped slaves in the mountains of northeast Brazil. The story follows a group of plantation slaves who revolt in 1650 and escape to the mountains to the city of Palmares, where they join others who have already been living there peacefully and autonomously. The leader of Palmares annoints Ganga Zumba, who becomes a legendary king (see Diegues' film "Ganga" about the life of this character in particular). Ganga Zumba and his people keep Palmares safe for years, but eventually he is pursuaded by the Portugese to leave the mountains, submit his land to the state, and receive reservation land (and "peace"). Many people disagree with this change, and the warrior Zumbi emerges as the new generation leader of Palmares, taking the people back to the mountains. Zumbi, unlike Ganga Zumba, represents a new generation in Palmares that demands freedom and independence and refuses to compromise Portuguese. But in 1864 Palmares is once again attacked and taken by the Portugese, with most of its inhabitants being brutally murdered or enslaved (though the film manages to represent these events without victimizing the people or representing much violence). In the end, the film leaves its audience with the feeling that even though it has been destroyed, Palmares can (and must!) live on through memory and keeping alive the traditions of its people...
Channel: CARIOCA FUNK