• FIFDH Geneva Int'l Film Festival on Human Rights

    Grand Prix de Genève Nominee
  • IDFA Int'l Doc Film Festival

    Special Mention
  • Tempo Documentary Festival Sweden

    Best Feature Documentary Nominee
  • PUCP Lima Film Festival

    Best Documentary Nominee
  • It's All True - Int'l Documentary Festival

    Honorable Mention
  • London Arthouse Film Festival

    Best Feature Documentary
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English and Portuguese with English subtitles

Connecting the country’s recent past and the turbulent present context, I Owe You a Letter About Brazil investigates the persistence of silence as a tool to erase memory.

Filmmaker Carol Benjamin untangles her grandmother’s intimate writings in an attempt to understand the story of their family against the brutal backdrop of the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964 – 1985).

Her father, César Benjamin, was arrested in August 1971 during student protests against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Although he was a juvenile, he was tried as an adult and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Thanks to the ardent campaigning of his mother Iramaya, working closely together with the Swedish branch of Amnesty International, he was released five years later.

Everything Benjamin knows about this dark period in her father’s life, she has heard from her grandmother, as César himself refuses to talk about it. Hoping to better understand this part of her family history, she travels to Sweden to meet with the people who were involved in the campaign for his release.


I Owe You a Letter About Brazil starts from a very specific nucleus, from the director's own family and encounters silence. This silence makes one forget the past and brings repetition. "Silences are the rubber of history, they seal pacts of forgetfulness", Carol Benjamin tells her still young children.” – Cecilia Barroso, Cenas de Cinema

About the Director
Carol Benjamin is a documentary filmmaker as well as a film and television director and producer. Her debut film as director, I Owe You a Letter About Brazil (88′, 2019), was awarded at national and international festivals (IDFA 2019 and É Tudo Verdade 2020, among others) and was a finalist in the Brazilian Cinema Grand Prix in two categories.

Benjamin is the producer and screenwriter of the following feature-length documentary films: Capoeira, Inside the Game, by Jorge Itapuã; A Thousand Women, by Rita Toledo; and Divine Divas, by Leandra Leal – which was the most popular documentary in Brazil in 2017 and won several awards at festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW, Austin, USA), Festival do Rio, Festival de Aruanda, and Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro 2018 (Best Documentary and Best Editing).

An original Globoplay production, her narrative TV series The Life Ahead will be released in 2023.