The introduction offers an overview of the documentary in contemporary Brazil and discusses the significance of archive concepts for the documentary in general and for Brazilian documentaries in particular. The archive has been undervalued as a heuristic concept in documentary film studies, which have tended to discuss it only in the literal sense of film archives and to speak of repurposed footage. The documentary, however, has an inherent affinity with the concept of the archive that becomes crucial in the work of many filmmakers. Taking Eduardo Coutinho’s Cabra marcado para morrer (Man Marked For Death/Twenty Years Later, 1964–1985) as a point of departure, the introduction argues that the documentary has a Janus-faced relationship with the archive, at once producing lasting records for the future and de-archiving materials from the past, returning what was hidden and stored away to the present.
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