When engaged in reconstructing wronged historical characters or obscured events, a documentary constitutes a powerful tool in the remaking of history. In his introductory treatment of the documentary genre, Bill Nichols (2001) detects what sounds like a truism but should never be overstated. That is, in this historicizing task, despite their objective appearance, documentaries present a specific stance: they “seek to persuade or convince” (43). Nichols also observes that usually documentaries focus on topics “about which we as a society remain divided” (74). These claims fit the case of Helena Solberg’s 1995 documentary Carmen Miranda: Bananas Is My Business. In her outstanding film, Solberg’s rendition of Carmen Miranda, torn between Brazil and the United States, is one of the first serious attempts at probing deeper into the sensational international name that Miranda became. 1 The film does a great job reshaping the understanding of present-day Brazilians about the Pequena Notável (Little Wonder) who has been for decades incongruently missed by Brazilians, even though she was also deemed a deserter by them.
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- The Migrant in Helena Solberg’s Carmen Miranda: Bananas is My Business
Regina R. Félix
- Palgrave Macmillan US