By Chesney Hearst
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The International Club Rio (InC) will continue its speaker series with the panel discussion, “A Night in Noir: The Reality and Fiction of Crime in Brazil” on Thursday, April 18th. Panelists for the event will be two of the city’s authorities on crime and fiction; former BOPE captain, screenwriter and current crime and security commentator for the Globo network, Rodrigo Pimentel and Brazilian author and crime fiction specialist, Lilian Fontes.
“The topic is especially timely due to Rio’s efforts in the last few years to combat crime,” events organizer for the InC, Melissa Mello e Souza told The Rio Times. “The recent crime wave illustrates how difficult and multi-faceted crime is in Rio, how interwoven it is with gender, race and social factors, and how difficult it is to tackle, let alone eradicate.”
Panelist Rodrigo Pimentel knows about crime in Rio firsthand. A former member of the Military Police, Pimentel served as a BOPE captain from 1995 to 2000.
BOPE – the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (Special Police Operations Battalion) – is often known as the elite squad of military police for their extensive experience in urban warfare and use of weapons and equipment more powerful than that of civilian police officers.
After Pimentel left BOPE he began to turn his knowledge abut the policing of crime in Rio into fiction. He co-wrote the book Elite da Tropa (Elite Squad) with fellow ex-police officer André Batista and anthropologist Luiz Eduardo Soares.
The book was later turned into the internationally acclaimed film, Tropa de Elite. Pimentel also helped to write the screenplay for the film and its sequel Tropa de Elite 2: O Inimigo Agora É Outro (Elite Squad: The Enemy Within).
Joining Pimentel in the discussion on Thursday night will be Brazilian author, Lilian Fontes. Fontes, who is also a crime fiction specialist with a PhD in Communications from the Federal University of Rio, has penned three crime novels including De Olhos Bem Abertos. She has also published articles, reviews and critical texts in Brazilian magazines and newspapers.
“My three novels follow a narrative structure of a policeman, as a pretext to talk about existential issues,” Fontes told The Rio Times. “My generation had strong cinematic influences with the police. In Brazil, crimes started to occupy much of the media penetrating in our imagination. Then, inevitably, my writing included situations and perceptions of this modality. Talking about it in a debate is a stimulus for reflection of something that is reflected in our everyday lives.”
Fontes and Pimentel will further discuss crime and it’s fictional representations beginning at 7:30 PM on Thursday, April 18th at the Midrash Cultural Centre in Leblon.
Souza concluded, “These Speaker Series are a unique opportunity for the international community in Rio to be exposed to Brazilian culture and society, through both Brazilian and international perspectives (our speakers are multinational), to debate timely issues, and to mingle with both other internationals and Brazilians in a cool, sophisticated setting and be exposed to interesting, provocative ideas.”
The InC, founded in 1965, is open to all English speaking foreign residents in Rio de Janeiro, as well as Cariocas. Aside from the speaker series and many other functions organized annually, the InC actively supports a number of local charities that deal with education, sports, the elderly and disabled youth.
What: A Night in Noir: The Reality and Fiction of Crime in Brazil, InC speaker series with panelists Rodrigo Pimentel and Lilian Fontes.
Where: Midrash Cultural Center, Rua General Venancio Flores, 184, Leblon
When: Thursday, April 18th, 7:30 PM
Entrance: The event is open to the public