Whilst in today’s enlightened society students often get tarnished as drunk, cannabis-smoking layabouts, there was a time in Europe when they were often seen as the group most likely to hold governments to account. One of the most famous examples was in France during the student strikes of 1968. However, in other areas of the world this struggle continues, as we’ve recently seen with the protests in Hong Kong against the Chinese authorities. Brazil is a country with many social issues and things are only set to get worse after the election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
However, in Brazil there’s strong social consciousness and political activism. In 2013, sparked by a small increase to bus, train, and metro ticket prices in some cities, hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to make their voices heard. Fuelled by their success, movements sprang up across the country. When the regime announced budget cuts to public schools and universities, the students rose up and occupied the buildings. In Eliza Capai’s new documentary, Your Turn, three high schoolers (Marcela, Nayara and Koko) tell this story through their own experiences.
Brazil is a country with great natural resources but high levels of poverty. The gap between the richest and the poorest grows every year. The corruption within political parties has driven many to take matters into their own hands. By giving the floor over to these three young activists, Capai has created a film full of exuberance, energy and anger. In a world which can sometimes seem bleaker every day, Your Turn offers a ray of hope. A glimpse into what can be achieved when people are driven to action. The potential for a brighter future.
Your Turn also screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest on 11 June.