Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 6 : Films are full of "difficult decisions", and a director should go out of his comfort zone, not explain everything and leave something for the audience to interpret, says renowned Brazilian filmmaker Julio Bressane.

The 69-year-old Julio Bressane Eduardo Azevedo, who is the chairman of the international jury at the 20th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) being held here, said that for directors themselves, their film was a "powerful tool for self-knowledge and development".

During an 'In Conversation' session at the Tagore Theatre with film analyst and critic Pradeep Biswas, Bressane said he was introduced to the camera when he was 12 years old.

In his discourse in broken English, for which he kept on apologising at regular intervals, he said his mother had given him a 16-mm camera while on a trip to the US, and he became a huge fan of the instrument.

Bressane, who made his first feature film "Face to Face" in 1966 when he was just 19 years old, said that due to his confrontation with film organisations like 'Cinema Novo' in Brazil in the late 1960s, he was pitted against a group that was financed by the government to make

political films.

Terming it a "blind fight" because all the filmmakers were "young and ignorant" at the time, he said the group had such influence that he was completely left out and had to spend the next around 30 years without showing his films abroad.

"My films may be less interesting, but they are in accordance with the public opinion in Brazil," said the Brazilian, known for works like "Cleopatra", "Love Film", "Candango", "Days of Nietzsche in Turin", "Tabu", "Miramar", "Killed the Family and Went to the Movies" among others.

"I was deeply sad because of a crime that never happened," he said, referring to his fallout with the other group of political filmmakers.

However, things seemed to have improved for the filmmaker, and he has been showing his films and attending international film festivals since the past 15 years or so.

Bressane, who has made more than 50 feature films, lamented the fact that Brazil has very few people interested in watching films.

"There are around 2,000-3,000 people, only the elite people who watch films in Brazil," he said during the discussion on Saturday.

Television was a "much better developed" industry in Brazil, and people are more interested in watching "soap operas", he said. But now the film industry is slowly following in its footsteps.

The advent of Hollywood is also hampering the Brazilian film industry.

"Hollywood is killing Brazilian films. It is very hard to survive making films," he said.

Bressane said they used to make films adjusting the budget, and he earned only 10 percent of what modern filmmakers earn now.

So, is the scenario changing in Brazil? Bressane has a different take on that.

"I don't want to sound arrogant, but I made films only for myself, not for others, unlike in India, where films are normally made for others.

"I never saw my films as something that appeals to everyone. However, young directors have been more influenced by my films than the public.

I never thought that would happen.

"I was really surprised that people saw my films and were inspired," he said.

(Prantick Majumder can be contacted at

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