40 Million Shoes

Brazil is the key country of South America

1962

BILLING

FORTY MILLION SHOES
a report on brazil

by douglas leiterman for intertel

cameraman: graham woods

film editor: don haig

music: harry freedman

directed and produced by
douglas lieterman [sic]

IN BRIEF

Brazil is the key country of South America. It contains half the land area of the continent and more than half the population. It is the fourth-largest country in the world. But one-half of the population is still illiterate, half goes barefoot, half suffers chronic malnutrition.

Forty Million Shoes is the story of a country which demonstrates the classic paradox of South America, the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. If Brazil can break through economically, most of South America will follow. If Brazil cannot make it, few others will. If the West loses out in Brazil, it will lose the balance of power in South America.

In this report Brazil is seen through the lives of five of its citizens. It examines their hopes, their hates, their chance of happiness and their influence on events which they will affect but cannot control.

AN INTERTEL PRODUCTION ◦ TIME SLOT 55 MINUTES

Available through

Global Television Services Ltd.,

3 Vere Street, London, W.1.

Phone: MAYfair 1167

Cables: Helpful, London

SYNOPSIS

Brazil is the key country of South America. It contains half the land area of the continent and more than half the population. It is the fourth-largest country in the world. But half of the population is still illiterate, half goes barefoot, half suffers chronic malnutrition. In Recife, in the pro-Communist north-east, only half the working force has jobs. In this area 20 million Brazilians live in poverty as wretched as anywhere in the world. Life expectancy here is 30 years, average income $8 a month.

This area has produced the strongest Fidelista organization on the continent. Although the communist party is illegal, it dominates the Peasant League which thrives on the festering discontent of the landless and the jobless.

The problems of Brazil are clearly the crucial problems of all the long-suffering peoples of the South American republics. The privileged classes who have an iron grip on the wealth and political structures of their countries are only beginning to show concern for the millions of indigent, often-starving peasants and slum-dwellers who beg only the right to work and be paid for their labour. A great awakening of the social conscience of Latin America is beginning. But, is it too late?

The poor and hungry have discovered in the examples of Cuba and China that there is an alternative to the oppression they have endured for generations under what they call “capitalist exploitation”.

In Brazil the alternative is represented by the fast-spreading Peasant Leagues and their communist-oriented leader, Francisco Juliao. Forty Million Shoes follows Juliao on his mission of agitation and propaganda into the drought-stricken interior provinces of his country.

The programme also examines the lives of the daughter of a wealthy Brazilian family which traces its ancestry back 400 years, an indigent young girl whose father attempted to steal the money she needs to finish her education, and a peasant farmer who ekes out a marginal existence in northeast Brazil, without water and without hope.

Interviewed on the programme are Dr. Fernando Lee, one of Brazil’s major industrialists from Sao Paulo, and Louis Alberto Bahia, the influential editor of the Rio de Janeiro newspaper, Correa de Mania.

The stone face of former President Kubachek overlooks a plaza in Brasilia, the new capital which he started to create.

PRESS

Brazil is the fourth-largest country in the world — but half the population is still illiterate, half goes barefoot, half suffers chronic malnutrition.

Most observers believe that if Brazil “makes” it economically, most of South America will follow. If Brazil can’t make it, few others will. This country demonstrates the classic paradox of Latin America in which the rich are becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer, and through the experiences of Brazil are seen the problems and prospects of Latin America in the full-length documentary “Forty Million Shoes”.

According to Douglas Lieterman, producer-director of the programme, the poor and hungry of Brazil have discovered, in the example of Cuba and China, that there is an alternative to the oppression they have endured for generations under what they call “capitalist exploitation”. This alternative is represented by the fast-spreading Peasant Leagues and their Communist-leaning leader Francisco Juliao.

The programme follows Juliao on one of his political missions into one of the drought-stricken interior provinces of Brazil. It also examines the lives of Elizabeth Barros Barreto, daughter of a wealthy family that traces its ancestry through 400 years of Brazilian history; Regina da Silva, an indigent young girl whose father attempted to steal the money she needs to finish her education; and Yousef, a peasant farmer who ekes out a marginal existence in a barren mountain area.

Among those interviewed in “Forty Million Shoes” are Dr. Fernando Lee of Sao Paolo, one of Brazil’s major industrialists, and Louis Alberto Bahia, editor of the Rio de Janeiro newspaper Correa de Mania. The programme also examines the resignation in August, 1961, of President Janio Quadros, and the political stalemate that has developed since he left.

The huge statue of Christ stands high above Rio de Janeiro harbour.

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