Rio: “Duas Caras” Actor Visits Rio das Pedras

Bandeira de luto em Rio das Pedras, após morte de suspeito de chefiar mil�cia
“The battle flag of Rio das Pedras, Rio de Janeiro”: The Peacemakers were headed by a senior police inspector who was promoted and decorated by an indicted former police chief whose campaign for the state assembly was allegedly funded by the gambling mobs involved in Operation Hurricane, in which senior judges are charged with selling verdicts that provided legal cover to gambling mafias. The inspector, a fugitive from justice for both areas of criminal activity, was later found with 30 bullets in him, sitting in his Toyota pickup truck outside his girlfriend’s apartment. His paramilitary group ran bingo halls and GatoNet (an illegal cable TV network) and is under investigation for money-laundering. A political rival — whose campaign literature featured the symbol of an area militia (Batman), has now been charged with ordering his assassination and is in protective custody. Policemen and former policemen have been charged with carrying out the assassination.

“This soap opera is showing the good side of the favela. And this story of the militia is very much like ours,” said the young woman, alluding to the way in which Juvenal Antena (Antônio Fagundes) controls Portelinha with an iron hand

A follow-up to

Lázaro Ramos: astro de ‘Duas caras’ visita a favela de Rio das Pedras (GLOBO, Brazil): Lázaro Ramos, star of the Globo soap opera “Two Faces,” visits Rio das Pedras.

RIO – Sexta-feira, tarde nublada, Rio das Pedras. A convite do GLOBO, Lázaro Ramos, o Evilásio de “Duas caras”, aceitou passear pela favela de Jacarepaguá, que é tida por seus 80 mil moradores como uma das menos violentas do Rio e inspirou a criação da favela da Portelinha, na novela das 21h da Rede Globo. Assim que chegou, ele apontou a rua larga que dá a acesso à comunidade e dirigiu-se à repórter:

Friday, a cloudy afternoon in Rio das Pedras. At the invitation of GLOBO, Ramos, who plays Evilásio in “Two Faces,” has agreed to stroll through this shantytown in Jacarepaguá, which is held by its 80,000 residents to be one of the least violent in Rio and inspired the fictional shantytown of Portelinha in Globo’s 8:00 pm soap opera. As soon as he arrives, he points to wide street that provides access to the community and addresses the reporter:

– Já foi à cidade cenográfica no Projac? É igualzinha.

“Ever been to the Projac back lot? It’s exactly the same.”

On Hollywood back lots and Potemkin Villages, see also

O ator baiano, que vive um romance à la Romeu & Julieta com a personagem de Débora Falabella (Júlia) na trama, foi seguido por fãs eufóricos, que pediam fotos e autógrafos do ídolo. Um jogo de futebol juvenil parou; empregados de lojas próximas abandonaram seus afazeres. Funcionário da poderosa Associação de Moradores da Portelinha em “Duas caras”, Lázaro fez sua primeira parada, justamente, na Associação de Moradores do local.

The Bahia-born actor, who is living a Romeo and Juliet-style romance with the character played by Débora Falabella (Júlia) in the soap, was followed by ecstatic fans who asked their idol for photos and autographs. A children’s football match stopped. Shop workers abandoned their tasks. An employee of the powerful Portelinha Residents Association in Two Faces, Lázaro made his first stop the Residents Association of Rio das Pedras.

– Olha o Foguinho aí! – disse Ely Bittencourt, numa saudação que se repetiria muitas vezes naquela tarde, referência ao personagem da novela “Cobras & lagartos” pelo qual Lázaro está concorrendo ao Emmy Internacional, no próximo dia 19.

“Check out Foguinho there!” said Ely Bittencourt, a greeting that would be repeated many times that afternoon, a reference to the soap opera character for which Ramos has been nominated for an International Emmy, on December 19.

This reporter also seems to have trouble differentiating the actor from his role, reporting that he, the actor, is having a “Romeo and Juliet” romance with the character played by another actor.

The Rede Globo de Televisão tends to operate on this basis: Inviting the viewer to confuse fact with fiction.

Lázaro crivou Ely de perguntas, nem sempre fáceis de responder:

Lázaro peppers Ely with questions, not all of them easy to answer:

– É verdade que aqui não tem violência? Nem tráfico? Como é que se consegue isso?

“Is it true there is no violence here? No drug traffic? How did that happen?”

Momento saia justa, numa comunidade controlada por uma milícia de policiais.

An awkward moment, in a community controlled by a militia of policemen.

A militia of policemen who run black-market cable TV, cooking gas and transportation services, and bingos, on the side. Who use armed machine-politics to put the political “fix” in, and practice summary execution to maintain order — and eliminate rivals.

– Foi uma conquista de início; 90% da população aqui é de nordestinos, que vieram construir prédios na Barra e não quiseram ir embora – disse Ely, desatando a contar a história de Rio das Pedras.

“It was a conquest at the beginning; 90% of the population here are Northeasterners who came to construct buildings in the Barra da Tijuca and did not want to leave,” said Ely, starting to tell the story of Rio das Pedras.

– Por que aqui é chamado de favela? Em Salvador, um lugar assim seria bairro.

“Why is this called a shantytown? In Salvador, a place like this would be called a regular neighborhood.”

– Porque, para ser bairro, tem que ter infra-estrutura, água, luz, esgoto, asfalto. Já vamos para a terceira e última etapa do Favela-Bairro, mas a parte alta da comunidade está sem água até hoje.

To be a neighborhood, it has to have infrastructure, water, electricity, sewers, asphalt. We are in the third and final stage of the Favela-Bairro project, but the high part of the community still does not have running water.

A presença do ator fez afluir gente de todo lado. Acompanhante de idosos, Magna Dionísio da Silva, de 25 anos, vibrava:

The presence of the actor causes people to come streaming in from all sides. An attendant for the elderly, Magna Dionísio da Silva, 25, was excited.

– Que bom ele aqui. A maioria das novelas fala de Copacabana, Leblon, e não representa a classe menos favorecida.

“How nice that he is here. Most soap operas take place in Copacabana, Leblon, they do not represent the less privileged.”

À medida em que Lázaro avança pelo interior da favela horizontal, as ruas largas dão lugar a vielas onde o esgoto corre a céu aberto. Uma jovem de 20 anos é uma das fãs que o segue.

As Ramos advances into the heart of the horizontal shantytown, the wide streets give way to alleyways where sewage runs exposed to the open air. A young woman of 20 years is one of the fans that tags along.

And what is the young woman’s name?

– Sempre adorei ele. “Duas caras” está mostrando o lado bom da favela. E esta história da milícia está bem parecida com a nossa – disse a moça, aludindo à forma como Juvenal Antena (Antônio Fagundes) controla, com mão de ferro, a Portelinha, embora a trama de Aguinaldo Silva não fale em milícias.

“I always loved him. This soap opera is showing the good side of the favela. And this story of the militia is very much like ours,” said the young woman, alluding to the way in which Juvenal Antena (Antônio Fagundes) controls Portelinha with an iron hand, even though the script by Aguinaldo Silva does not mention militias.

This is an odd thing to say, given that the militia is reportedly run by policeman, while Juvenal Antena — according to an enthusiastic Wikipedian chronicling the plot, and Globo’s Web site — is not a policeman, but rather a man who actually behaves a bit more like Stedile of the MST.

Ele é morador da favela da Portelinha, um lugar que nasceu a partir da determinação de Juvenal Antena. Líder nato, homem esperto e hábil nas palavras, Juvenal era chefe de segurança de uma construtora, a GPN, onde operários trazidos do Nordeste ouviam a falsa promessa de que receberiam seus honorários da empresa falida. Revoltado com a injustiça, Juvenal pediu demissão e se juntou aos operários na luta por seus direitos. Sonha em juntar aquelas famílias sem teto e em criar uma comunidade. Do sonho para realidade é um pulo.

The Portelinha favela was born thanks to the determination of Juvenal Antena. A born leader, a smart man who has a way with words, Juvenal was head of security at a construction company, GPN, where workers brought in from the Northeast were falsely promised they would receive their back wages from the bankrupt company.

This is also the basic premise of the film Redentor.

Revolted by this injustice, Juvenal resigns and joins the workers in fighting for their rights. He dreams of getting these homeless families together and creating a community. From dream to reality is a big leap.

Com a ajuda ainda do secretário de Estado de Serviço Social Narciso Tellerman (futuro deputado), Juvenal organiza uma invasão ao terreno da GPN, onde constrói, ao longo dos anos, a comunidade de seus sonhos: a favela da Portelinha, um lugar onde nada falta a seu povo, onde não há drogas nem violência. Porém, Marconi Ferraço comprou o terreno da GPN, e entrará numa batalha judicial e moral contra Juvenal Antena.

With additional help from the State Secretary of Social Services, Narciso Tellerman (a future legislator), Juvenal organizes an invasion of the GPN property, where he constructs, over the years, the community of his dreams: Portelinha, a place where his people want for nothing, where there are neither drugs nor violence. But Marconi Ferraço has bought the GPN property, and will wage a legal and moral battle against Juvenal Antena.

Wasn’t the Kelson’s shantytown built on the property of the old Kelson’s factory? I remember reading something like that. On which see also

Marconi Ferraço is, in reality, the fugitive con man Adalberto Rangel, who after a sort of an Oliver Twist childhood marries a rich woman, runs off with all her money, gets plastic surgery, and reinvents himself as the respected businessman, Ferraço.

O golpista, por sua vez, muda o rosto, o nome e o estilo de vida. Faz uma cirurgia plástica, compartilhando esse segredo apenas com Bárbara Carreira – a prostituta com quem perdeu a virgindade, seu braço direito por toda a vida – e transforma-se no respeitável empresário da construção civil Dr. Marconi Ferraço.

… He has plastic surgery, sharing the secret only with Barbara Carreira — the prostitute to whom he lost his virginity, and his lifelong right hand — and becomes the respectable construction company owner, Dr. Ferraço.

We return you to GLOBO cross-marketing its soap opera with torn-from-the-headlines social reality.

– Foguinho, Foguinho! Ai, meu Deus, que chique! Aqui ninguém está perdendo a novela. Nos bares, só desligam a televisão depois de “Duas caras”. Aí é que o forró começa – contou Dagma Solana, de 28 anos.

“Hey, Foguinho! Wow, how cool! No one misses an episode of the soap opera here. In the bars, they only turn off the TV after Two Faces. That’s when the dancing starts,” says Dagma Solana, 28.

Lázaro não se incomodava com a confusão a respeito de novelas e personagens:

Ramos was not bothered by the confusion between the different soaps and characters.

– Está ótimo, tenho dois personagens que representam essa turma aí, e causam identificação.

“It’s great, I have two characters that represents this bunch here, and it causes identification.”

Enquanto caminhava, o ator ia ouvindo explicações do presidente da Associação (que ele achou a cara de Juvenal Antena, só que sem bigode). Ao final, falou sobre suas impressões:

As he walked, the actor heard explanations from the president of the association (who reminded him of Juvenal Antena, except that he lacks a mustache).

And what explanations did he hear?

In the end, he spoke of his impressions.

– Esta visita reafirma o que eu já sabia: que comunidades assim são organismos complexos, e há uma necessidade de se olhar para elas com um olhar mais curioso. Enxergar os moradores como indivíduos, e não como “a massa de favelados”. “Duas caras” está mostrando o outro lado da favela. O do calor humano, dos vizinhos se relacionando. Não é alienação, dizer que tudo é maravilhoso. Mas é mostrar o herói do dia-a-dia, o cara legal, que cuida da família, que também é romântico e batalhador.

“This visit reaffirms what I already knew: That communities like this are complex organisms, and there is a need to turn a more curious case on them. To see the residents as individuals, not as just a ‘mass of shantytown dwellers.’ Two Faces is showing the other side of the favela. The side of human warmth, of neighhors getting along. It is not alienation, not saying everything is wonderful. But it shows the working-class hero, the nice guy, who takes care of his family, who is also romantic and a fighter.”

I guess I will have to watch this.

Neuza, the soap-opera junkie in the house, is not that enthused, and the ratings are said to be somewhat disappointing after the last soap, Tropical Paradise (It was Wagner “Capt. Nascimento” Moura — or his character, rather — who killed the evil twin sister of the principal starlet. Or her character, that is).

Lázaro Ramos is a really, really fine actor, by the way.

O Homem Que Copiava (“The Man Who Copied”). Rent it.

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