As the daughter of Glauber Rocha, the leader of Brazil's Cinema Novo movement and one of the most influential Brazilian directors of all time, Paloma Rocha did not experience a conventional upbringing.
"When I was five-years-old, my father enrolled me in an American school and told me to learn the language of the coloniser," says Paloma, who has inherited her father's passion for film-making outside the Hollywood and European models.
Besides running Rio de Janeiro's Tempo Glauber foundation, which is dedicated to the restoration of her father's work, Paloma makes documentaries that reflect on Glauber's oeuvre, renowned for its blend of mysticism, Brazilian folklore and political themes. Anabazys, screened recently in the Orizzonti section of the Venice film festival, and is an essay-documentary conceived as an accompaniment to Glauber's 1980 film The Age Of The Earth (A Idade Da Terra). This was Glauber's last film, a collage of long and improvised scenes, without storyline, that he described as a "portrait of Brazil and himself".
"My intention here is to create a debate about one of his least known and understood manifests, aesthetics of dream," says Paloma. "In Anabazys, my father gives his own interpretation of history and expresses ideas to help the reflection and reconstruction of a new audiovisual language."
She directed this "iconoclastic film" with her husband, Joel Pizzini. "It wouldn't make any sense to realise a conventional documentary about Glauber's radical experiences."
Anabazys will be released on DVD internationally in October, along with the restored version of The Age Of The Earth, which also screened at Venice.
Paloma is also working on the DVD releases of restored versions of her father's 1969 film Antonio Das Mortes (O Dragao Da Maldade Contra O Santo Guerreiro) and 1962's The Turning Wind (Barravento).
Antonia Das Mortes won Glauber the best director award at Cannes in 1969. It is part of his most celebrated trilogy, along with 1964's Black God, White Devil (Deus E O Diabo Na Terra Do Sol) and 1976's Anguished Land (Terra Em Transe).
"I feel somehow responsible for his legacy," says Paloma. "He used to say the search of eternity is our victory over death."
Paloma made her film debut at 20, performing and working as a continuity supervisor on The Age Of The Earth. "My father didn't say much to the actors," she recalls. "He just told me the day before shooting that I would sing the song Juriti, that we had composed together."
Paloma plans to direct features to follow in her father's footsteps and discover a cinematic language of a uniquely Brazilian and Latin American quality. "I have been writing scripts, but for now I'm still committed to making Glauber's oeuvre find an audience again," she says.
She credits her father for her character, courage and ability to deal with complex and delicate projects. What really differentiates Paloma from Glauber, who died in 1981 at the age of 43, is her temper. "I'm much calmer than he was," she says.
For his part, Glauber would argue the core of Latin American reality was "an aesthetic of hunger and violence."