After COVID, free cinema for children in the favelas of Rio

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Sep. 14, 2021

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – As the sun set in the Vila Cruzeiro favela on Monday, bathing this working-class neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro in warm evening light, children lined up to watch a free movie on the big screen. .

Some had never been to a movie theater, as tickets for families could be prohibitively expensive even before the pandemic hit their parents’ jobs. And their disposable income has been eroded by rising inflation, especially the costs of electricity for the home and food.


“This project is great, very important,” said Mateus Borges Coelho, a 21-year-old nursing technician, as he took his little daughter to the performance of “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” ). “Not all parents can afford to take their children” to the movies.

The screening, in a place called Konteiner, was organized by Voz da Comunidade, a non-profit organization that launched “Cinema no Morro” (Cinema on the Hill) before the pandemic. The program was suspended almost immediately when the new coronavirus began to spread.

But the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths has declined in Rio and the rest of Brazil, so projections resumed on Monday to offer respite from the pandemic and socioeconomic tribulations.

More than 200 children rushed into the venue for Monday’s two screenings, and volunteers distributed free masks and hand sanitizer. The children also received a bag of popcorn and a soda.

“Here in the community, they don’t have many places to go,” said Geiza Pires Nunes, who works with the nonprofit.

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AP journalist Diane Jeantet contributed to this report.

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