Voices From the Edge: The Favela Goes to the World Social Forum

Fernando Salis' and Daniela Broitman's docu follows 23 community activists from the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro on their quest to join the hundred thousand participants at the World Social Forum, a leftist alternative to the World Economic Forum. Maiden outing of VideoForum, whose mandate is to promote global grassroots discussion via films.

Fernando Salis’ and Daniela Broitman’s “Voices From the Edge” follows 23 community activists from the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro on their quest to join the other hundred thousand participants at the World Social Forum, a leftist alternative to the power-brokering World Economic Forum. “Voices” exposes the difficulties encountered by the marginalized poor in getting to the Forum that purportedly represents their interests. Maiden outing of VideoForum, whose mandate is to promote global grassroots discussion via films, emerges as a docu of amazing hope and clarity, especially considering the large number of people involved and their seeming poverty of options.

Moving easily from the stark insularity of shantytowns without water or electricity to a global stage inhabited by the likes of Noam Chomsky and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, organizers are empowered by the communal experiences and genuine shared interest evinced by groups from Argentina to the U.S. Filmmakers stress the friendly collective cohesion of the Rio group, accustomed to cooperating as members of Congesco (a council of community leaders from slums throughout the city), whose articulateness and lifelong commitment to social justice is matched by their seemingly indefatigable energy.

Voices From the Edge: The Favela Goes to the World Social Forum

Brazil

Production: A Video Forum production. Produced, directed by Fernando Salis, Daniela Broitman.

Crew: Camera (color, DV) Salis, Broitman; editors, Pedro Serra, Salis, Broitman; music, P. Junior, Maga Bo, Stereo Maracana. Reviewed at African Diaspora Film Festival, New York, Dec. 10, 2003. Portuguese, Spanish, English dialogue. Running time: 70 MIN.

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