Jonas Rabelo, conhecido na capoeiragem como Mestre Russo de Caxias, iniciou-se na Capoeira em 1968. Através de amigos começou a assistir as apresentações de suas respectivas escolas de capoeiragem em eventos festivos, nos quais passou a freqüentar ativamente como jogador convidado.
Em 1972 foi apresentado ao Mestre Barbosa, com quem treinou até 1975.
No dia 3 de junho de 1973, dia do Santo Antonio, um grupo de amigos capoeiristas organizou uma roda em uma festa na comunidade da Igreja Católica Santo Antonio.
No próximo dia 25 de setembro(quinta feira) as 19 horas será exibido no TEATRO RAUL CORTEZ (Praça do Pacificador-Centro de Duque de Caxias-RJ) o longa metragem O ZELADOR. Este documentário conta um pouco da trajetória de mestre Russo como uma das figuras mais importantes da tradicional roda de capoeira que já acontece desde 1973 no centro de Caxias.
Mestre Russo: "a valorização atual da capoeira está ligada ao fato de ela estar fazendo sucesso no exterior. “É como aconteceu com o samba, que ganhou força ao ir para fora. O reconhecimento lá fora faz o reconhecimento aqui dentro”, diz. Ele próprio foi destaque no jornal inglês The Times no último dia 5 de julho, por causa do filme O Zelador, produzido por ingleses, sobre ele e sua tradicional roda de rua em Duque de Caxias, RJ. “Lá fora ninguém me pede documento”, garante o mestre, que viaja no mínimo duas vezes por ano para o exterior, “fazendo turnezinhas”.
Pequeno depoimento sobre a capoeira como Patrimonio Imaterial
O ZELADOR ( Para ver o trailer do Filme, clique aqui )
O Zelador was filmed in an extremely under-privileged suburb of Rio de Janeiro (Baixada Fluminense). In 1971-1976 the United Nations made a study of trouble spots worldwide …their conclusion was that Belford Roxo in Baixada Fluminense was the most violent place on earth. Even today the homicide investigation rate is only 1.3%. Mestre Russo grew up in this environment. He is a 50 year-old Carioca (man from Rio) who has led a capoeira existence for close to 40 years. At the age of 11, fatherless and from a family of 9 brothers he gave himself to capoeira.
Russo used this capoeira culture as an instrument for education and survival. He met his wife Eliane and has 2 sons.
“…capoeira…it is his mission in life…” remarked his 11 year-old son.
Mestre Russo not only uses the capoeira culture as a didactic for himself, but has integrated this powerful culture into his family totally. Russo is a ‘zelador’ (caretaker) of culture.
The manifestation of this cultural devotion can be seen in a place called Caxias, where every Sunday for 33 years Mestre Russo has met with other capoeiristas to play, sing dance and fight in the street.
Mestre Russo has defended the integrity of this roda many times, enduring many forms of discrimination and has even been stabbed. The significance of the traditional Roda de Caxias is that it was juxtaposed directly against the political turmoil of the 70s and 80s in Brazil. The street capoeira environment was a form of cultural expression that was eyed with great suspicion by the right wing military hard liners who ran the country with a rod of steel. The Roda de Caxias survived this repression and is now one of, if not, THE most traditional street rodas in Brazil today.
Mestre Russo is an organic academic and poet. He strives to share his knowledge and love equally with his family and a group of young men from his region, who, like him, endure tremendous hardships and danger. These young men form the core of his group, or his extended family as he calls it. This part of his work started in 1996 and has given hope and joy to all associated with it.
This film O ZELADOR is a record of his life. How, as a youth, he discovered the value of his ancestral culture and recognized its power. He and his students continue with the development of capoeira and provide a link to a culture that has existed for many years within this impoverished region of Rio de Janeiro. The film is a social document of one man and his family living with the unique culture of Afro-Brazilian capoiera and charts its significance within the political and cultural history of Brazil. It is the story of a man who has gained the love and respect from students and contemporaries alike, who all owe so much to this remarkable person, teacher, father and a true master.
Running time Approx 84 minutes
Format DV Cam / Super 8
Language Brazilian Portuguese (English Subtitles)
Production Company Bantam Films
O Zelador is an independently funded production
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