Jean Charles de Menezes: Brazuca

In the aftermath of the murder, a cascade of misinformation and lies from the very top down. From Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to the trigger-happy plain-clothes shooters identified only as "carrying a long-barrelled weapon", the actions that day have been exposed as a cover-up of the events that resulted in the extra-judicial execution of an innocent man.

Jean Charles de Menezes: Brazuca

Joined: Dec 19 2006, 03:26 PM

Nov 20 2008, 06:38 PM #1

From The Times

November 20, 2008

Brazuca pays tribute to Jean Charles de Menezes, an unlikely hero

Dom Phillips

The pretty pink church in the small town of Paulínia, deep inside São Paulo state in Brazil, is a long way from Stockwell Tube station in South London, where the Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police in July 2005. A thousand people bustle about outside the church; there is a buzz of chatter and a sense of expectation. It could almost be a carnival. Instead, it is a funeral: a key scene in the movie the Brazilian director Henrique Goldman is making about the life of de Menezes.

Truth and fiction began swirling around de Menezes right after his death, so it is perhaps appropriate that a film is being made about his life. Brazuca — the name is a slang word for Brazilians living abroad — has a £2 million budget split between the UK Film Council and its Brazilian equivalent. Stephen Frears and Rebecca O’Brien, a frequent collaborator with Ken Loach, are its executive producers, and the mostly Brazilian cast has already filmed extensively in London.

Frears’s film Dirty Pretty Things was set in similar territory: immigrants struggling in London. But Goldman is not making a political film. “Jean Charles was an ambitious man, but he wasn’t political,” Goldman says. “He was a dreamer. A survivor. Streetwise. A womaniser. Fun-loving. He wasn’t a saint, he was a loveable rogue.”

Goldman is making an emotional story about Brazilian immigrants in London. “I hope that it’s going to be a much stronger way of accusing the police.”

The director, who has lived in London for 20 years, worked with Frears at the National Film and Television School and his films display a similar mix of relaxed affability and steely persuasion. Directing a scene on a dirt road, he gets a crowd of schoolchildren waving at the fire engine carrying the coffin containing the departed de Menezes to stop giggling long enough to get his shot. The children are waving the Brazilian flag: common at funerals in that country. “That doesn’t happen in England,” Goldman observes. “You have almost some kind of shame with the English flag.”

Goldman is fond of surprises. He films documentary-style: no script, no make-up, natural light. And while the inquest in London into de Menezes’s death has scant mention in the Brazilian media, his movie is big news there. There is a scrum of Brazilian press on set, many of whom Goldman has cunningly persuaded to join in, playing themselves. They have been drawn in by the stars of Brazuca, who include some of Brazil’s biggest names.

Selton Mello — the star of the hit Brazilian film My Name Isn’t Johnny, a sexy drug dealer thriller — plays de Menezes. He isn’t on set for obvious reasons: his character is already dead. But the TV and soap opera star Vanessa Giácomo spent time in the dead man’s rural hometown of Gonzaga researching her leading role as de Menezes’s cousin Vivian, a cleaner who lived with him in London. “For us he’s a hero,” she says. “One of the people who go abroad, looking to fulfil their dreams and fight for a better life.”

Weeks ago, just as the inquest into de Menezes’s death was about to begin in London, I too travelled to Gonzaga to meet relatives and family. The family sitio, or smallholding, is at the end of a dirt track. I spent most of a day with the family, lunching on ox liver, black beans and rice with de Menezes’s brother Giovani and his wife in their small house, eating home-made cheese in the parents’ kitchen.

The parents are often described as simple country people, which is unfair. I found an intelligent, charming and hospitable family devastated by tragedy.

Maria de Menezes, angry tears edging her eyes, asked me, again and again: “Why did they do it? Why did they kill my son?”

In Paulínia, as the day draws on, the crowd outside the church swells as news buzzes around town that the film’s stars have arrived. The actors are besieged by fans. Nobody recognises two young women standing next to the stars. But these scenes are a much rawer experience for Patrícia Armani da Silva and Leide Menezes Figueiredo — both are cousins of de Menezes, and they are playing themselves. “It is a little difficult,” Armani da Silva says. “I’m a bit anxious, I have a headache, I’m stressed. But I’ve already done worse scenes in the film.”

As the coffin is carried into the church, hands reach out to touch it. The greeting is deafening, the emotions crank even higher. Goldman calls for another cut. He wants more. “You can talk. You can cry. You can ask questions,” he says. The greeting begins again, the press scramble. In the midst of this anguish it is impossible to tell the actors’ manufactured emotions from that of the two cousins, but Figueiredo looks particularly troubled. “It’s hard because I go back and remember everything,” she says later. “But it’s worth it, to show personally what we really suffered.”

The theatre actor Luis Miranda plays Alex Pereira, another of Jean Charles’s London-based cousins who turned into a family spokesman, becoming an expert on British law in the process. “He carries the political flag of the film,” Miranda says. “It’s about his relationship to the structure of the country, how it receives and how it treats foreigners.”

For Miranda, Brazuca is a story about globalisation, the unstoppable flow of populations. “Things are getting really interconnected,” he says. “I think the film talks about this. This process of globalisation transformed humanity.”

Britain and its institutions are regarded warmly in Brazil. Maria de Menezes told me that her son had loved London and its well-mannered police force. For Goldman, what is important is not that the police killed de Menezes in what he calls a “tragic accident”. It is what was said afterwards. “They tarnished the name of a very respected institution,” he says. “I find this hard to forgive.”

Brazilian police are often corrupt, violent and unpredictable. Innocent deaths at police hands are common, particularly in Rio. Meanwhile the Policia Civil in greater São Paulo are investigating a supposed extermination squad, called Os Highlanders (the Highlanders) in the Policia Militar, supposedly linked to the discovery of five decapitated corpses in the past six months. “We don’t have the moral right to go against a British institution,” Miranda says.

Goldman, too, is not looking to apportion blame. “The most important thing is that it was a tragic accident. The police were under severe stress. Such tension.” Legal processes and the Metropolitan police aside, the de Menezes family had nothing but good things to say about the people they met when they had travelled en masse to London for previous legal hearings. Patrícia Armani da Silva still lives and works in London. “I love the country because it’s a really good place to live,” she says. “We can’t blame the people. We can’t blame everybody.”

Goldman insists that he doesn’t want to focus on the police or their processes — his film is not supposed to look like an episode of The Bill, he says. Instead Brazuca will be a human story, as much about Vivian’s journey as the death of her cousin. “As a film-maker you are always looking for stories that matter to you and also to a wider audience,” he says. “It was an interesting story of an outsider in London and a great way to tell about Brazilians in London.”

As filming comes to an end, the inquest into de Menezes’s death has revealed a picture of bad police organisation, communication breakdown and stressed firearms officers. A surveillance officer known only as Ken, whose team followed de Menezes on his bus journey to Stockwell Tube that day, said his team had made no clear identification of the Brazilian as a suspect before he entered the station. One of the firearms officers who shot him, known just as Charlie 2, has apologised profusely to the family. “I am responsible for the death of an innocent man,” he said. “That is something I have got to live with for the rest of my life.”

It is claimed that as many as 150,000 Brazilians now live illegally in Britain and to them de Menezes is an unlikely hero. Goldman says the young electrician’s parents know this. “I think they have a deep understanding of the way Jean Charles has become some sort of a brand name,” he says. “I think they understand what we’re trying to do.”

Aftermath of a shooting
By Louise Cohen

July 22, 2005 The Brazilian electrician was shot eight times inside Stockwell Tube station in South London. Police officers, on their first deployment of Scotland Yard’s shoot-to-kill policy, mistook him for one of four terrorists wanted for the failed attacks of July 21.

July 23, 2005 The Metropolitan Police admit that de Menezes was not connected to the terrorist attacks.

July 25, 2005 Inquest into the killing opens at Southwark Coroner’s Court.

Aug 22, 2005 The de Menezes family protest outside Downing Street, delivering a letter to Tony Blair asking for a full judicial public inquiry.

Nov 2005 An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Stockwell Two, is announced into the conduct of the Met chief, Sir Ian Blair.

July 2006 The Crown Prosecution Service says that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute any of the officers involved, but that the Met will be prosecuted. The inquest is adjourned until after this prosecution.

Aug 2007 Stockwell Two finds that by 3pm on the day of the shooting senior police officers had “strong suspicions” that a man had been mistakenly killed. Sir Ian says he was not told until the following day.

Nov 1, 2007 The Met is found guilty of failing in its duty of care and is fined £175,000 with £385,000 costs.

Nov 7, 2007 The London Assembly passes a motion of no confidence in Sir Ian.

Sept 27, 2008 The inquest opens.

— Brazuca will be released next summer


Joined: Nov 6 2006, 05:39 PM

Dec 11 2008, 12:28 PM #2

Brightest young things: The next generation of stars recreate famous roles

You may not recognise them now, but these young British actors could be tomorrow's movie superstars. Alice Jones introduces the faces of the future – and they recreate their favourite moments from the silver screen

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Think back to the days when Angelina Jolie was still married to Johnny Lee Miller – and childless. Or to when Keira Knightley was just another posh English schoolgirl with a pout trying to make it big. In 1997 when Total Film magazine launched, it put together a list of the hottest young Hollywood talent it could find. Among the little-knowns and just-about-recognisables back then were Jolie, Knightley, a fresh-faced Scarlett Johansson and a barely teenaged Shia LeBeouf, among others.

Now to celebrate its 150th issue, the magazine has once more dredged the talent pools to put together a new list, this time of the brightest British young hopefuls. They include the runaway girl heroine of London to Brighton, the BIFA-winning star of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire and James Bond's (swiftly conquered) latest nemesis. There are leading girls and boys from the television ratings-winners Skins and Merlin who are making the move to the big screen, and theatrical talents including a History Boy turned Nazi plotter (in the upcoming Tom Cruise vehicle, Valkyrie) and a Chekhovian Broadway sensation whose next role sees her playing opposite Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

For this photo-shoot, they dressed up to recreate some of the most recognisable characters from the last decade or so of film history. Just think, in 10 years' time, another set of bright young things will probably be dressing up as them.


Eva Birthistle

... is Ann Darrow from 'King Kong' (2005)

The 34-year-old Irish actress Birthistle is best known for her award-winning turn in Ken Loach's 'Ae Fond Kiss' and is currently starring in 'The Children', "a horror about a Christmas that turns into a nightmare". "Then there's 'Brazuca', about Jean Charles de Menezes. I play his girlfriend. I've also just finished shooting a film with Timothy Spall called 'The Wake Wood' which is the first Hammer Horror for over 30 years."


The full feature will appear in the 150th issue of 'Total Film' magazine, on sale tomorrow

From The Times
November 22, 2008

Eva Birthistle on The Children: me and my little horrors

Eva Birthistle co-stars with scary kids in three new films, but she’s more than just a scream queen

James Mottram

She arrives to meet me bundled up in scarf and big coat: Eva Birthistle is “feeling croaky” and her Irish brogue has a husky edge. It’s a professional hazard for the 34-year-old actress, who made her breakthrough in Ken Loach’s 2004 interracial romance Ae Fond Kiss. She has just finished The Wake Wood, a supernatural story about a couple granted the chance to spend three days with their deceased daughter. “I feel a bit broken,” she admits. “It was a tough shoot in Donegal; a lot of exterior shots in very cold weather, in shitty conditions; lots of muddy fields and rain machines. It took its toll on everybody.”

It’s not the first time this year that Birthistle has braved the elements in the name of horror. In February, she made The Children. Set during the Christmas holiday in an isolated house, it tells of what happens when children turn on their parents. Full of genuine chills – think House of Tiny Tearaways meets The Omen – it’s one of the most unsettling films of the year. “I’m in it and it made me jump,” says Birthistle, who plays Elaine, a mother of three. “I saw it last week. I knew what was going to happen next – and I screamed twice, which I think is a really good sign. I’m very happy with the film.”

Written and directed by Tom Shankland (maker of W Delta Z) from an original story by Paul Andrew Williams (London to Brighton), this film differs from routine scary movies because the set-up is so disarmingly ordinary. It springs from domestic scenes that we all recognise – until the little angels are infected by an unexplained illness that sends them crazy. “That’s why it’s creepy and why it’s so shocking – you don’t expect it at all,” Birthistle says. It’s surely liable to put off prospective parents for life and the actress has also warned her mother off seeing it. “I don’t think it’ll be her cup of tea. She’s not into horror.”

Birthistle, on the other hand, is. At the risk of making her sound like a scream queen, she’s also coming up in The Daisy Chain, with Samantha Morton, which tells of a possessed orphan girl. “There have been a spate in the last two years of ‘spooky kids’ scripts,” she giggles. “I did the top three.” So surely this means that she is never going to have kids? “I'm not going to have kids? No. No. No,” she says, before realising the implications of her words. “No, I am going to have kids. What am I agreeing with you for about the future of my family?” She bursts out laughing. “I am planning to have kids. Just not for a while. And not spooky ones.”

This will probably be a relief to her husband, the actor-musician Raife Patrick Burchell, whom she married almost two years ago. Burchell, who has taken bit parts in V for Vendetta [as Studio Technician] and Morvern Callar, plays drums and is a session musician for Ed Harcourt among others. Wondering how they met, I ask if Birthistle was ever a groupie of his former band Jetplane? “No!” she says, horrified. “What, throwing my knickers at him! I was introduced to him at a pub. It was a proper introduction.”

While she doesn’t play anything herself, Birthistle does have music in her family. Her elder brother is a composer, working in both theatre and documentaries. “My musical taste has been influenced by him growing up,” she says. She is the youngest of three – her sister is a personal trainer – and her parents were not in showbusiness. Her father was the MD of a clothes factory, while her mother does community work in primary schools. Both supported her move into acting. “They’ve always told me to just go for it and do what I wanted to do.”

Raised in Wicklow, Birthistle started acting when her family moved to Derry, enrolling on a performing arts course at the local tech. “I really did it as a stopgap while I decided what I wanted to do,” she recalls. Until that time, she had considered “all the usual things that go through your head as a teenager” – from teaching to counselling to working with horses. “As a kid, I wanted to be a farmer’s wife,” she says with a smile. “Have a few chickens and a few kids. I still have a bit of a romantic notion about that – maybe in a few years I’ll move to the country.”

After six years in Derry, Birthistle moved to Dublin, where she trained formally at the Gaiety Theatre. Her first professional job was as Regina Crosbie on the long-running, now defunct Irish soap Glenroe, which – in its previous incarnation, Bracken – had given Gabriel Byrne his start.

“At the time, it was the only drama in Ireland. That was all Ireland had to watch on a Sunday night. So if you weren’t cast in that, you weren’t working.” Fearing typecasting, she left after two years, despite advice from the producers. “This might sound snobbish but I knew from the outset that I wanted a film career.”

Braving the prospect of unemployment, Birthistle toiled away in a variety of little-known films but has no regrets about not going back to the safety of soap. “In this career, you have got so little control,” she notes. “And the one thing you can do is choose what not to do. You have to set that standard and stick to it. And it can be really hard because you can be skint, where you go, ‘I could go and do that.’ That’s not to say I haven’t done jobs for money. I have. Usually, the ones I have done have been dreadful experiences that I haven’t enjoyed and ultimately aren’t very good projects.”

While Birthistle’s gut instinct has served her well, was she ever worried that she would never top working with Ken Loach so early in her career? “Absolutely,” she says. “I’d always dreamt of working with him, so when it happens, you go, ‘Oh that’s done now.’ Of course there are other people I’d give my right arm to work with too. But still, he’s such a unique experience.” Yet she followed her role as a music teacher in Ae Fond Kiss by working with Neil Jordan on Breakfast on Pluto in 2005 and more recently Peter Greenaway on his Rembrandt film Nightwatching, playing the painter’s wife, Saskia. “It’s been all right,” she says, sounding relieved.

Despite other collaborations with Conor McPherson (Saltwater) and Jimmy McGovern (Sunday), nothing on her CV will stir as much interest as her next film. Brazuca is the story of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian shot dead by British police in 2005 shortly after the 7/7 bombings. She plays his girlfriend Chris, a fictionalised character. With the inquest ongoing, she admits it’s “very strange” to be involved in such a topical project. “It’s such a sensitive matter. The family have been involved, but it’s hard to know how people will react. You’d like to think there would be a lot of support.”

It’s the sort of role that could yet get her noticed in Hollywood. When she did the rounds in the wake of Ae Fond Kiss, she drew a blank. “They don’t really go for Ken Loach over there. I went over and they didn’t really know what I was talking about.” While she has worked in Toronto several times since, she has yet to shoot for the studios in Los Angeles. “It’s a funny place,” she muses. “I couldn’t see myself ever moving lock, stock there. I like it here too much. I’m sure I’d go for work, but as long as it’s happening here, I’m very, very happy.”


“Ho, ho ho!” becomes “No, no, no!” as the members of a sorority house really wish they’d gone home for the Christmas break when a psycho starts suffocating them with plastic bags. A cult Canadian horror, based on a real-life killing spree in Montreal.

It all starts with a killer festive gift for teenaged Billy (Zack Galligan): a cute critter that spawns other, notably less cute, critters, who proceed to run amok and spoil Christmas for everyone in his idyllic hometown. Also notable for one of Hollywood’s darkest seasonal monologues, as Billy’s love interest (Phoebe Cates) recalls finding the corpse of her father, dressed as Santa, stuck in the chimney after a fatherly stunt went wrong. Cockle-warming it ain’t.

Yuletide à la Tim Burton, a Stygian tale of Hallowe’entown’s attempt to kidnap Santa and hijack Christmas. Rendered in creepy stop-motion, the pumpkin-headed antihero Jack Skellington is the perfect antidote to festive fluffiness.

BAD SANTA (2003)
Billy Bob Thornton gleefully takes a Stanley knife to the beaming face of Yuletide as Willie, a conman who disguises himself as a department store Santa in order to crack the safe and lift the preChristmas takings. A boozing, womanising, occasionally incontinent reprobate fond of kicking toy reindeer to pieces, this is one guy on whose lap you do not want to sit. Further kudos goes to Tony Cox as the angry dwarf who poses as Willie’s Little Helper.

— The Children is out on December 5 2008

The Times
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: Jan 19 2006, 09:24 PM

Dec 11 2008, 10:00 PM #3

Eva Birthistle also played the Home Secretary in "The Last Enemy".
Innocent until proven guilty

Joined: Nov 6 2006, 05:39 PM

Dec 12 2008, 03:22 AM #4

Set visit: 'Brazuca'

As the only British journalist permitted on the set of ‘Brazuca’ – the film telling the story of Jean Charles de Menezes – Dave Calhoun is surprised to find music, comedy and celebration at the heart of the tale. He talks to the writers about their reframing of a well-trodden London tragedy

When I turn up on the set of ‘Brazuca’, a film about the life and death of Jean Charles de Menezes, I wonder if I’m having the wool pulled over my eyes. There’s a party atmosphere at the Clapham Grand, a Victorian theatre in south London which is adorned with the sort of chinoiserie – gold dragons above the stage, Oriental patterns on the walls – that was fashionable when the place was built in 1900. On stage, film director Henrique Goldman, a slender, energetic 47-year-old Brazilian Jew (‘a rare platypus,’ he jokes) who’s lived in London for 16 years, is rehearsing four young dancers, resplendent in crop-tops and bikini bottoms the colours of the Brazilian flag. With them is Sidney Magal, a crooner in his late fifties who was famous in Brazil in the 1970s and ’80s (think Tom Jones – clothes, hair, dance moves and all). He’s miming over and over to one of his old hits while the girls gyrate and flick their hips around him.

Everyone’s having a blast, and it’s hard to separate cast and crew from the family and friends of de Menezes, who have been supportive of the film and often appear in it. One of the producers points out a brawny Brazilian guy in his forties who I later see acting in a scene that shows de Menezes fixing an amplifier so the show can continue: the same man was de Menezes’s boss when he was an electrician.

The mood is a long way from the gloom of the ongoing inquest into the death of 27-year-old de Menezes. A few weeks ago a jury was shown photos of his body lying on the floor of a tube train in July 2005 after he was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder by police who mistook him for a terrorist. Here we are, three years on and only a couple of miles away from Stockwell tube station, watching this sexually charged revelry unfold. And the more I watch, the more I am convinced that the producers of this film, which has high-profile backing from director Stephen Frears and Ken Loach’s producer Rebecca O’Brien, have deliberately invited me along to witness one of the sunniest scenes of an otherwise downbeat film. Surely their aim is to get the word out that ‘Brazuca’ (the nickname Brazilians abroad give each other) will be more than a miserable retread of a tragic story which we continue to read about in the papers every week? Could it be anything else?

Well, yes. A read of the script and a conversation with its director leaves me thinking that this may be something original – entertaining even. What Goldman and his fellow writer, Marcelo Starobinas, a Brazilian journalist at the BBC World Service who’s never written a film before, are aiming for is a portrait of de Menezes from a new angle. In a café round the corner, Goldman tells me that initially, back in 2005, he thought of making a documentary about de Menezes.

‘I tried the BBC, Channel 4, the usual suspects,’ he recalls. ‘But it was a bit early and no one was interested.’ Then he received an email from his friend Fernando Meirelles, director of ‘City of God’ and ‘The Constant Gardener’, whom the BBC had approached to make a drama about the shooting. Meirelles was busy and recommended Goldman instead. Goldman took the job but became uneasy that the BBC wanted to make a drama from the outside looking in. ‘I thought the story had to be told from the point of view of the family, not the police,’ he explains. When the BBC pulled the plug, he was relieved.

The film became an independent project and Goldman began collaborating with Starobinas on a lively, rounded portrait of de Menezes that immerses him in London’s Brazilian community. Goldman and Starobinas wanted the killing (which Goldman tells me he’s dreading filming down on a disused platform at Charing Cross in a few days) to come out of the blue and to be even more shocking for it. The script is fun: De Menezes, who’s played by 34-year-old Selton Mello, makes money as a scam artist in the building trade, thinks of himself as a ladies’ man and strikes up a relationship with a hip young English girl, played by Eva Birthistle.

‘We interviewed people in Jean’s life and they were such a chaotic, amusing bunch I wanted to make a film celebrating his life and immigration,’ says Goldman. He tells me ‘Brazuca’ will mostly be in Portuguese, with English scattered here and there. And he is determined that it will be funny and anarchic. ‘When European filmmakers look at foreigners, it’s always sad as they see people who are marginalised and live in difficult conditions – and that’s fair enough – but, from the immigrant’s point of view, London’s a fantastic place. That’s why they want to come here. Jean loved this country. And I love this country. If you’re young and have ambition, it’s a wonderful place to be free from the conventional world. Jean’s friends always say: "How could they kill Jean? He was a bit of a clown." We didn’t want to make a sad film but one that was life-affirming and that honours him.’

Back in the Clapham Grand two hours later, the place has filled up with Brazilians here for the free bar and Magal; he’s performing again, with Goldman darting around behind him and working the crowd into a frenzy. But, despite the talk of comedy and celebration, Goldman does intend ‘Brazuca’ to be a reminder of what happened on that morning in Stockwell and an indictment of the police’s failures that led to an innocent 27-year-old’s death. ‘The more people laugh and enjoy the film, the more tragic his death will be,’ he reasons.

So this won’t be a dull campaigning film. Goldman’s full of the ironies of the situation, pointing out that ‘the same government who killed Jean Charles is financing a film about him!’ (He’s talking about the UK Film Council, which has put more than £500,000 of Lottery money into the film.) He’s also quick to stress that the Brazilian police killed ‘something like 2,663 people’ in the same year that de Menezes died and is mindful of how British and Brazilian attitudes towards his killing vary: ‘In Brazil, nobody is as outraged; he’s only famous because he’s famous here,’ Goldman points out. He laughs and then sighs almost in the same sentence. ‘Life is complicated – and it’s our duty to say this.’

‘Brazuca’ will be in cinemas next year.

Author: Photography Rob Greig

Marcelo Starobinas

Films shorts
Calling Home

Marcelo Starobinas ventured into screenwriting and film-making in 2006, building upon 15 years of experience travelling the world covering international affairs for leading Brazilian publications and the BBC World Service. His first feature length screenplay, ‘Jean Charles’, about the life and death of Jean Charles de Menezes after the London bombings in 2005, will be shot next summer, directed by Henrique Goldman and executive-produced by Stephen Frears. CALLING HOME is his directorial debut.

Maria Eduarda Andrade found her way into film-making as a producer and curator of film festivals in the poorer outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She was a producer and assistant director of documentaries used as educational tools in schools in destitute communities. She has graduated last year with a MA in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths College. 'Just Like Mom', her directorial debut, was selected last year for the shorts competition at Britdoc Festival, in Oxford. It was also screened at the Discovering Latin America Film Festival 2007.

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: Nov 6 2006, 05:39 PM

Dec 17 2008, 07:45 PM #5

BAZ BAMIGBOYE on Jean Charles de Menezes, Anne Hathaway, Danny Boyle and much more

Last updated at 1:17 PM on 12th September 2008

Bringing Jean Charles back to life with love

Working 'under the radar' on the streets of London, filmmakers have almost completed a movie that explores the life of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian man gunned down by counter-terrorist police who thought he was a suicide bomber.

The hush-hush filming would have gone unnoticed, except that Selton Mello, the actor portraying Jean Charles, is an idol in Brazil - and London is home to tens of thousands of Brazilians.

Many recognised him and clamoured for autographs as director Henrique Goldman was trying to film around Covent Garden, Soho and other parts of central London.

Interestingly, the main focus of the UK-Brazilian co-production isn't so much the death of Jean Charles as his life. It will look at how he, his cousins and friends lived it up in London.

'It's a life-affirming story, full of fun and laughter - and then tragedy strikes,' Luke Schiller, a key producer on the film, told me.

The film, Brazuca, also stars Vanessa Giacomo as Jean Charles's cousin, Vivian, Eva Birthistle as his girlfriend, and his real-life cousin Patricia Armani da Silva, who portrays herself.

The shooting of Jean Charles at Stockwell Tube station in July 2005 comes two-thirds of the way into the film.
Schiller and Goldman told me that their theme was to reveal Jean Charles through the broader lens of migrant culture in London.

'Who was the guy? What was his world? He was an outsider in a foreign land who linked up with this group of cousins and friends,' Goldman told me.

'They were Brazilian hillbillies, but not in a pejorative sense: they're very intelligent and politically aware.

'He was a man with a big heart, a good rogue. He was fun.

'The more we show this side, the bigger the tragedy, and it gives a sense of who was killed.'

His intention was never to make a political film, nor is it anti-police, he insisted.

But even with the personal route the film is taking, it's still highly charged - particularly with the inquest into Jean Charles's death, during which more than 40 police witnesses are set to give evidence, starting on September 22.

No wonder the BBC quietly dumped its own film project about the Brazilian.

'The Metropolitan Police were an example to the world and they tarnished their name,' Goldman said.

'They were behaving more like the Brazilian police,' he added - pointing out that the Brazilian police kill hundreds, possibly thousands, every year.

'But a film that focused on the police's actions would have been boring, like an episode of The Bill.

'It's much better to look at who Jean Charles was,' he said.

The Metropolitan Police cooperated with the film-makers up to a point, but refused permission for the Met insignia to be used.

The actual slaying will be shown; Charing Cross tube station was hired for those heart-stopping scenes.

The cast and crew travel to Brazil in three weeks and should finish filming by mid-October.

"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: Nov 6 2006, 05:39 PM

Dec 17 2008, 07:59 PM #6

The original BBC project
BBC scraps de Menezes killing film

Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent
The Observer, Sunday 14 January 2007

The BBC has dropped a politically sensitive drama it was making about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by members of Scotland Yard's firearms squad.

The move has distressed members of the innocent Brazilian's family and enraged Katy Jones, the docu-drama's award-winning producer.

'I am extraordinarily disappointed, more than anything for the family. It was devastating for them. We had been told by the BBC it was the most important television commission of the year,' said Jones, who, with Jimmy McGovern, made Hillsborough and Sunday.

'The de Menezes family were right in the middle of a traumatic experience and it was a huge blow for them. I feel very angry and I have urged the BBC to send an apology to them.'

She says the BBC has failed in its duty to complete a sensitive project that unearthed a large amount of investigative material about the police shooting of 27-year-old de Menezes at Stockwell underground station in south London in July 2005.

A second expensive and highly topical docu-drama, dealing with the lives of the 7 July bombers, has also been unexpectedly shelved.

'It was a very well developed drama piece, but it was a question of timing and the mix of programmes,' said Roly Keating, controller of BBC2. He denied that the decision had anything to do with the difficult or dark content uncovered by researchers working with militant Islamic groups.

The decision to drop the two dramas may mark a move away from communicating complicated and important news stories through fictionalised accounts. 'There is a tendency to want to make a docu-drama when what is needed is some really tough frontline documentary reporting,' said George Entwistle, head of current affairs. 'Sometimes it is used as a less strenuous option, although this is not the case in the best docu-dramas.

'My sense is that there has been a lot of good BBC journalism in this area anyway. For instance, we had a Panorama on the de Menezes shooting. The 7 July development work was good background journalism.'

Keating agreed that researchers working on this project had unearthed important information about the bombers which, he said, may still be used at some time.

Jane Tranter, head of drama, said of the 7 July project: 'I would say it is on hold. We have never said we are not making it.' She added that in the case of the de Menezes film the fact that the story was heavily reported on the news at the time meant she had to ask what a docu-drama could bring to viewers.

Shiv Malik was heavily involved in the July 7th project and produced gems such as this
The Antagonist @ May 27 2007, 10:55 AM wrote:
numeral @ May 27 2007, 10:14 AM wrote:
Journey into terror of my brother the 7/7 leader
The Sunday Times
May 27, 2007
Shiv Malik

< snip >

— Shiv Malik’s article The Making of a Terrorist appears in the June issue of Prospect magazine, on sale from Thursday, and at
Call that journalism? Shiv Malik should be ashamed of himself. A whole 1296 word article constructed from the following alleged quotes of Gultasab Khan:
  • </li>
  • “It was around 1999,”
  • “Before that it wasn’t about whether he was going down the route of being a jihadi, it was about him becoming a wahhabi.”
  • “bullshit”
  • “gradual process”
  • “People appreciated the kids running a bookshop because these were peers to the younger generation who were no longer listening to their elders,”
  • “as young men of a certain age do”
  • “no comment”
  • “Even now [the wahhabis] are praying here,”
  • “But better them being wahhabi than being on drugs.”
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro

Joined: Nov 6 2006, 05:39 PM

Dec 18 2008, 01:06 AM #7

Monday, January 15th, 2007
BBC accused of covering up De Menezes shooting

The BBC has been accused of covering up the truth after it dropped plans to film a politically sensitive drama about Jean Charles de Menezes who was gunned down by police marksmen at Stockwell Tube station

The cousin of the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician said the broadcaster wanted people to “forget” the killing.

Jean Charles de Menezes was shot more multiple times on a Victoria Line tube in the wake of the July London bombings two years ago after police mistook him for a terror suspect.

The BBC shelved the project after it was reported that the organisation had reported the shooting extensively on its news channels and had been tackled by its current affairs programme Panorama.

But de Menezes cousin Alex Pereira said: “They are trying to make people forget what happened.

“It is all political. If the BBC just wanted to do the right thing, they would show the programme. To show the truth is not illegal, to show how the police treated me is not a crime.

“But they won’t because they want to protect the criminals, the police. All reports say they are innocent in everything they have done. We can’t prove there is a cover up but we think it is a cover up.

“Because it will look bad for the police, they won’t do that because the BBC is part of the government.”

Award-winning producer Katy Jones told the Observer: “I am extraordinarily disappointed, more than anything for the family.

“It was devastating for them. We had been told by the BBC it was the most important television commission of the year.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “We are not shying away from the subject and covered it extensively in current affairs and documentaries, for example Panorama examined the Stockwell shooting as well as news coverage.

“Drama of course is a different process.”

Copyright © 2006 National News

I think that the de Menezes' family were possibly roped into the Mango Films production by the cancellation
De Menezes film planned
Mango films are to make a film based on the death of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes.

Feb 13 2007

A film about the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menezes is in the works, with London-based Brazilian-born director Henrique Goldman planning to shoot this summer.

The as-yet-untitled feature will be a 'United 93' style dramatisation of the events that lead up to the Brazilian electrician being shot at Stockwell tube station in July 2005.

The de Menezes family will be closely involved with the project, while the film will also make use of archive material, including the huge funeral that was held for Jean Charles in his homeland.

'It's a tragedy but it’s also a celebration of the Brazilian joie de vivre in London' explains producer Luke Schiller, who also revealed that Nitin Sawhney will compose the film's soundtrack.

Frears to make TV drama about Menezes

Article from: Evening Standard - London
Article date: February 13, 2007 &#124; Copyright informationCopyright 2007 Evening Standard - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. (Hide copyright information)

STEPHEN FREARS is to help make a TV drama about Jean Charles de Menezes. The director of The Queen will oversee the project, focusing on the lead-up to the shooting dead of the Brazilian electrician by police at Stockwell Tube station in 2005 after he was mistaken for a suicide bomber.

News of Frears's involvement comes after the BBC dropped plans for its own drama about the shooting because of its politically sensitive nature.

From The Times
February 14, 2007
People: Hugo Rifkind


Stephen Frears is to produce the BBC’s dramatisation of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, whom police mistook for a suicide bomber in 2005. “As soon as I think of the British police, I think of The Bill,” muses Henrique Goldman, the director. “Dramatically, the British police are very boring. The Brazilian police would be much more interesting.”

Stephen Frears to direct film about Stockwell shooting

By Terri Judd
Wednesday, 14 February 2007

The controversial death of Jean Charles de Menezes is to be turned into a film with Stephen Frears as executive producer.

The drama will focus on the life of the Brazilian, who was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot by police, as well as the impact his death had on the South American community in London.

Last night an agent for Frears - who directed the Bafta award-winning film The Queen - confirmed that the project was under way. The director Henrique Goldman said it would be a "human" story rather than taking a political stance on the shooting, in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings. People would understand the rights and wrongs "very, very strongly in their bones without any preaching".

The film will focus on Mr Menezes's friends and family and how the tragic event changed their lives, added Goldman, 45, who left his native Brazil at 19.

"I think the public knows a lot about this story, but they don't know who Jean Charles was, and who suffered because he died," he added. The project was offered to the BBC but it decided not to proceed.

Mr Menezes, 27, was shot at Stockwell Tube station in south London on 22 July 2005. The police issued an apology but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges of murder or manslaughter against any of the officers.

The movie, to be made by Mango Films, will start at the moment the electrician left Brazil - about three months before he was killed - and will cover the year after his death.

Goldman said he was not interested in focusing on the police. He said: "I don't find the British police so interesting, no matter how dishonestly they behaved in this event." He said filming was due to start this summer and would hopefully be completed by 2008.

Katy Jones, a former World in Action journalist helped produce 'Sunday' with Jimmy McGovern about Bloody Sunday and 'Hillsborough'. 'Sunday' starred The Last Enemy's Eva Birthistle in a main role as Maura Young alias Duffy (sister of victim John Young). 'Sunday' was shown on the 28th January 2002 on Channel Four. Another 'Bloody Sunday' film was produced by another former World in Action journalist, Paul Greengrass and shown on ITV1 on the 20th January 2002 (general release in the Cinema on 1 February).

The 'Bloody Sunday' film also again starred Eva Birthistle, albeit this time in a more minor role and again as Maura Duffy alias Young.

'Bloody Sunday' apparently helped propel Paul Greengrass into Hollywood filmaking.

Box TV who helped produce 'Sunday' would also go onto co-produce 'The Last Enemy'.
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro