Sustainability at the Margins: Avant-Garde Cinema and the Environment in Rogério Sganzerla’s cinema do lixo
The short-lived but influential Brazilian cinema do lixo has so far been neglected by critics working in the fields of ecocriticism and Latin American cinema. This paper offers an ecocritical reexamination of a relevant example of cinema do lixo, The Red Light Bandit, by Rogério Sganzerla, from its context of production in São Paulo to its radical aesthetic experimentation. It proposes that Sganzerla’s cinema do lixo reveals an environmental politics that calls for a reconsideration of the relationship between the avant-garde and environmentalism in Brazilian culture, as well as to a rethinking of cinema do lixo’s place in the making of contemporary environmental imaginaries in Brazilian cinema. Moreover, it discusses the relevance of its aesthetics of sustainability for ongoing debates on the relationship between cinema, the avant-garde, and the environment in Latin America, and Brazil in particular.