Journal of Romance Studies

Reciprocal narratives in Que bom te ver viva (Lúcia Murat, 1989)

Journal of Romance Studies (2021), 21, (2), 165–183.


Directed by Brazilian filmmaker Lúcia Murat, Que bom te ver viva [How nice to see you alive] (1989) interlaces the testimonies of eight female political prisoners with a monologue voiced by an anonymous female fictional character. All allude to the experience of torture under the military dictatorial regime in Brazil. Given that Murat was a militant student imprisoned and tortured during the dictatorship, the film appears to have an autobiographical motivation. I argue, however, that the interlacing of fictional monologue and ‘real’ testimonies effaces this motivation. Rather, the intersection between fictional and testimonial accounts offers a reciprocal recognition between interviewees and filmmaker, allowing for the inscription of these individual stories into the historical narrative. I also argue that this reciprocal recognition is anchored in the feminist practice of storytelling, practised in consciousness-raising feminist groups in the 1960s and 1970s. Adriana Cavarero’s philosophy of narration underpins my analysis.

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Author details

Brás, Patrícia Sequeira