North American youth can rest assured they have access to a decent education in public school. We live in a democratic society, and our right to protest is upheld. However, in Brazil it is a totally different story.

With echoes of a past military dictatorship, scandals, and extreme economic chaos, students have to fight for their rights amidst oppressive government activities in the largest country in South and Latin America. The Student Movement in Brazil can be traced to the 1930s when students first mobilized against a military state. Fast forward to 2013 where cuts to a transportation program (Free Fare Movement), which would raise fares as a result, sparked protests from an already struggling population. These protests proved to be fruitful, showing how organizing against the powers that be could make a difference. Inspired by the positive results from the fare hike protest, students rallied against the closing of schools in 2015.

Your Turn (Espero Tua (Re)volta) follows the accounts of Lucas “Koka” Penteado, a spoken word poet; Nayara Souza, a student union president and Marcela Jesus, an organizer of school occupation, from the start of the protests in 2015 to present day. These three young people take us through the history of student protests in Sao Paulo, what they had to endure and what they refused to take from the governing systems that will potentially ruin their futures.

Directed by award-winning documentarian Eliza Capai, the film documents the protests, brutality, risks taken by the students, and their tenacious natures through their eyes. What the film brings to us is the fact that these young people are better equipped at becoming autonomous and possibly running the country if they weren’t regularly suppressed by being labeled communists or socialists. There is also a focus on the LGTBQ community, as well as a racial aspect for the black students who are profiled regularly by the police.

These fiercely intelligent students only want change and equality; to live better lives and to pursue their dreams. Your Turn is an important document of how to mobilize against a corrupt system. It is an arduous journey about how we should have more respect, faith, and confidence in our youth.

Screens:
Saturday, February 15, 2:45 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

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