101 minutes, Color
Pureza tells of a simple woman who, searching for her missing son, hires on as a cook for a team of agricultural workers in the Amazon and uncovers a sophisticated slave network. With a canniness born of desperation, Pureza (Dira Paez) spies on the bosses (the aptly named Narciso and the murderous Zé) and secretly feeds the workers, becoming a mother to them. Months go by and, still risking everything, she is no closer to finding her own boy. But hell hath no fury. There is a real Pureza, and she confronted a nation's corrupt labor ministry; based on her witness, Brazil's Mobile Inspection Group freed some 50,000 workers living in slavery. Pureza won the Anti-Slavery Award, but true stories of courage don't always have happy endings: Under Brazil's present regime, the Mobile Inspection Group is no more. Slavery continues there, as it does worldwide.—Judy Bloch
In Portuguese with English subtitles
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