"Quilombo Country" Digital Download
& License Now Available

In an effort to provide a flexible learning environment in light of the current health crisis and beyond, we are now offering "Quilombo Country" via digital download and license. Please visit our sales page for more information.

"Quilombo Country" Now in More Than 300 University and Museum Collections

Quilombo Films recently celebrated the 300th acquisition of "Quilombo Country" by cultural institutions across the world. While universities in the United States have accounted for the great majority of sales, numerous copies have also gone to the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa and Oceania. Such American educational cornerstones as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Cornell and New York University, as well as leading universities from Botswana to Cape Town to London to Auckland, have made "Quilombo Country" part of their archives.

Among the museums that have acquired "Quilombo Country" are the British Museum, the duSable Museum of African American History, the Iziko Museum of Cape Town, the National Museum of Ghana, the Catalonia Cultural Center of Barcelona and the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts.


Quilombo Country "Uptown Premiere" Screening
Sells Out

The long-awaited "uptown premiere" of "Quilombo Country" last February 6th was a smash success, selling out a week ahead of time and necessitating an additional screening on Saturday. The screenings were followed by a Q&A and a discussion of ethnographic filmmaking and distribution with director/producer Leonard Abrams, and a cachaça cocktail reception.

"Quilombo Country" Completes Debut Theatrical Run at NY's Pioneer Theater
- Praised by the New York Times

"Quilombo Country" finished its one-week run at the Pioneer Theater in New York City on September 25th. The film attracted enthusiastic crowds and a good deal of attention from numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, whose Laura Kern called it "an up-close-and-personal look at the state of these villages today, featuring surprisingly articulate accounts from residents lacking in formal education..." (but we knew that...) and goes on to say that "The forceful baritone of Public Enemy’s frontman Chuck D, who narrates, makes the film’s history-telling go down smoothly." Read the whole story here.

"Quilombo Country" Wins "Best Film/Video Documentary" Award at Berlin Fest

"Quilombo Country" was the recipient of the Best Film/Video Documentary Production award given by the 2007 Black International Cinema Berlin festival. The award this year was also given to three shorter films.

Two New Reviews

From California State University’s Southern California Quarterly:

“In classical historical narratives [quilombos] seem lost in the colonial Brazilian past, and more myths than documents have survived. The new film “Quilombo Country” provides a welcome and innovative approach to this important Afro-American experience by focusing on contemporary quilombo communities and the life of today’s quilombolas.”

From Indiana University’s Black Camera:

“This new documentary gives a wonderfully rich picture of everyday life and festival culture in quilombos in the north of Brazil, based in abundant interviews with quilombo resldents, or quilombolas, themselves. In their own voices, quilombolas draw us into their country, and their world...

Abrams's grainy, intimate portrait of the difficult everyday life of contemporary quilombo residents refuses romanticization. It rightly places the quilombolas' experience, understanding, and practice as evidence of their insistent continued struggle against racism, for land rights, for political recognition — squarely in a complicated present.”

More Reviews

From African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter:

From the December 2007 African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter:

"A visually stunning investigation into quilombos of Brazil...a fast-moving, yet detailed, examination of today's quilombos, of their history, and of their ties to African culture....It is a well-made, interesting, and enlightening story....Strongly recommend[ed]..."

— Christopher Espenshade, ADAN

In These Times:

"'Quilombo Country' brings to light the concerns of a segment of Brazil society, which, though small, has greatly influenced Brazilian culture. The film makes it clear that the Quilombos” fight for land rights and legal recognition is integral to saving a living culture from extinction...features outstanding footage of festivals, parties and religious ceremonies."

The complete review is also online.

From the Southern Quarterly:

From the review of "Quilombo Country" by Phillip Gentile in the Spring 2007 issue of the University of Southern Mississippi's Southern Quarterly, one of the nation's most noteworthy cultural journals:

"Very often the more interesting 'story' of a documentary, in addition to its narrative line, is how it reveals a complexity of form or style commensurate with the importance of its subject. 'Quilombo Country' accomplishes this by immersing the viewer in an ever-expanding network of relationships – alive with the music and intermixed rhythms of doing and making, work and worship – which encompasses the concrete details of religious practices, public celebrations, and production of material culture. Abrams' considerable achievement has been to draw upon these formal resources and provide us access to the many dimensions of quilombo experience in a way that is persuasive, complex, and timely."

The 24-page piece also includes an interview with director Leonard Abrams, which took place this March while he was at the University to present the film.


"Quilombo Country" was also reviewed in the popular blog J's Theater, which "recommend[s] it for anyone with an interest in this area of Brazilian, African Diasporic and South American histories and cultures."

From the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology:

From the review of "Quilombo Country" in the April 2007 Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology:

"Abrams brings us a richly textured look at the lives of communities of escaped slaves in the Brazilian north…The brilliance of his characters shines against the background of breathtaking landscapes….turns a sensitive ethnographic eye to the racial issues facing quilombolas…in Brazil's unique system of ethnic and color classification. But the identitarian political issues in the film are anchored in a historical and ethnographic examination of the quilombos' emergence and present day culture….Provide[s] useful source material for students of Afro-Brazilian culture and teachers who focus on slave societies in the Americas."

— Brian Brazeal [University of Chicago]

"Quilombo Country" Screens in London At British Museum and Festivals in San Francisco, Austin and Berlin

"Quilombo Country" screened as part of the film series "Resistance!" at the British Museum on April 13th to a near-sellout audience. Director Leonard Abrams was there to present the film and take questions.

The documentary was also included in the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival in Austin, TX in April, the Black International Cinema Berlin in May and the San Francisco Black Film Festival.


AOL Interviews Abrams

AOL Black Voices, a website dedicated to African-American concerns, interviewed director Leonard Abrams and other directors whose films screened at the Pan African Film Festival.



Chuck D Narrates Final Cut of
"Quilombo Country"

Chuck D, leader of the hip hop band Public Enemy, whose many hits such as "Bring The Noise" and "Fight The Power" changed the culture forever, just this summer recorded the new narration for "Quilombo Country."


Chuck, who's been staying busy co-hosting Air America's "On The Real" radio show along with Gia'na Garel, running his recording empire and touring with Public Enemy, disappeared into work and resurfaced in the nick of time, just as director Leonard Abrams was getting ready to replace his own voiceover with a professional actor's. Said Abrams, "We had to change gears real quick, as I was leaving for Brazil and we needed to be ready for the Fall season, but getting Chuck in there was a no-brainer. I knew his voice and the history behind it would add resonance to the whole project."

"Quilombo Country" Barnstorms Across Brazil

Public screenings of "Quilombo Country" took place during the past two summers in the following universities, cultural centers, activist headquarters and in quilombos across Northern Brazil:

Federal University in Bahia [UFBA], Salvador, BA
Federal University in Para [UFPA], Belem, PA
Federal University in Maranhão [UFMA], São Luis, MA
Ilê Aiyê Cultural Association, Salvador, BA

Teatro Gregorio Mattos, Salvador, BA
Catarina Mina Cultural Center, São Luis, MA
Association of Rural Black Communities of Maranhao, São Luis, MA
Center for the Study of Blacks in Para State, Belem, PA
The quilombos of Santa Rosa do Barrão, Santa Joana and Santa Maria dos Pretos in Maranhão, and the quilombos of Bacabal and Mangeiras in Marajo Island, Para State


audience reactions

Audience Reactions