College of Arts and Letters kicks off its monthly Brazilian film series

A panel and a Q&A was hosted after the screening.


Panel members Steve Solot, Alan Berger, Luis Fernando Goulart, and Marilia Rebello participated in a Q&A following the screening of the film. Austin Van Luvender | Contributing Writer

Austin Van Luvender, Contributing Writer

To promote FAU’s new partnership with the Latin American Training Center, the College of Arts and Letters hosted the launch of their new nine-part monthly Brazilian film series.

The film, “Dear Ambassador” made its U.S. debut at the University Theatre Feb. 4 after being shown at a few festivals in Brazil.

The film takes you into the life of World War II era Brazilian ambassador to France, Luiz Martins de Souza Dantas, and how he went against his government to grant unauthorized passports to Jews to help them escape the danger they faced at the time.

The film was briefly introduced by the College of Arts and Letters dean Michael J. Horswell.

The panel held after the film was moderated by LATC President Steve Solot, and included judaic studies professor Alan L. Berger and Luiz Fernando Goulart, whose wife, Marilia Rebello, translated his statements from Portuguese.

Panel members discussed the film’s inspiration, the director’s ties to the work, and the research that went into it, while also touching on its elements of Holocaust education and illumination of marginalized historical figures.

Goulart said he had the idea while having dinner with a friend and was so interested that he met with her again to learn more about Souza Dantas.

He referenced that at the end of the second dinner with his friend, he left with “a $15,000 check to start making the film.”

Berger then chimed in and commented on the heroic qualities of Souza Dantas and how people should reflect on themselves and if they would consider carrying out his actions.

“The actions of one person could make a difference,” Berger said, and referenced another person from The Holocaust who helped save the lives of Jews, Oskar Schindler.

Following the panel, there was a Q&A hosted where people from the audience could ask questions and give feedback via microphone.

Almost every person who questioned the panelists made a point to praise Goulart for his film.

One of the audience members wanted to help distribute the film to get it the recognition she said it deserved. She went on to mention that there were many Jewish film festivals going on and that this film would make a great addition to those festivals.

The event ended with Horswell coming back out to give certificates to Goulart and Solot for their contributions.

Click here for more information on the rest of the Brazilian film series.

Austin Van Luvender is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @AustinVanl.