Below, Elena Chavez interviews Leonard Cortana, a young, French-born filmmaker based in New York City with family roots in the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Most of his work focuses on Brazil and the Caribbean diaspora, especially on Afro-descendant female characters. His film Marielle’s Legacy Will Not Die focuses on Marielle Franco, a queer Black woman, feminist and member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL) who was elected to Rio de Janeiro’s city council in 2016. Soon after her election, Brazil underwent an institutional coup that ousted then President Dilma Rousseff. In March 2018, Franco was shot to death by an unknown assailant. A month later Brazil’s U.S.-trained judiciary imprisoned former President Lula da Silva. Increasing ties have emerged between Marielle’s likely killers and current President Jair Bolsonaro.
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