1968 is considered as a year of revolutions – in politics, culture in general, and music in particular. Brazil was no exception and its Tropicalia movement in music was seen as a big threat to the then-ruling military dictatorship.
One of the artists who were key to the movement was composer/singer Caetano Veloso, and a new documentary discussing the events and the music, Narcissus Off Duty, will premiere on September 7, 2020, at the Venice Film Festival.
In the documentary directed by Renato Terra and Ricardo Calil, Veloso looks back at his 1968 arrest by Brazil’s military dictatorship and how the experience shaped his music.
At the time, Veloso was taken from his São Paulo home to Rio de Janeiro, where he was placed in solitary confinement for one week and held behind bars for 54 days. Later, and under pressure, he was released and along with Gilberto Gil, another Tropicalista, was exiled from the country.
Speaking to Variety about the film, Veloso said: “I have a very clear memory of all things that happened that day and in those months. In fact, I had written about it in my book Tropical Truth. There is a chapter in the book that tells the whole story. My manager, who is also my wife (Paula Lavigne), thought we should now do that on film. She invited a couple of directors who had done a wonderful work about a music festival… We were all going to do a complete documentary with many interviews and set locations, and things. But they started by interviewing me. When the interview – that we did in two sessions – ended, they decided that that would be enough.”