Note from BW of Brazil: Actress/singer Zezé Motta has long represented for black Brazilian women on the big and small screen. A veteran actress with a career of nearly 50 years, Motta has been a source of pride of many Afro-Brazilian women over the past several decades. Recently, she added another milestone to her illustrious career being nominated for Brazil’s most prestigious movie awards ceremony. While Motta is a strong symbol of black pride today, she reveals that her own self-esteem as a black woman wasn’t always so strong. In the second article, Motta re-iterates what she once revealed in her autobiography, taking to her social media profile to reveal how a visit to the United States and a connection with black Americans at the height of the black pride movement completely changed her concept of self (a similar moment of inspiration that occurred with long-time activist Mundinha Araújo). See the stories below and be sure to check out Zezé perform a few of her classic hits in videos posted at the bottom of this article.
Zezé Motta competes for the Grand Prize of the Brazilian Cinema (Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro)
from the newsroom of the SRZD website
The Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro (Grand Prize of Brazilian Cinema), the biggest national film awards enters its second voting phase to define the movies and film professionals who have excelled in the year 2012.
Gonzaga de Pai Para Filho (Gonzaga from Father To Son) (1) is the film with the most nominations, 15 in total, followed by Xingu (13) Corações Sujos (Dirty Hearts) (10), Heleno (9) and 2 Coelhos (2 Rabbits) (8)
The actress and singer Zezé Motta is nominated for the best supporting actress award (melhor atriz coadjuvante). Zezé reveals that she was moved to tears of emotion during the filming of the movie which was directed by Breno Silveira, “I played Gonzaguinha’s best friend, who worked for the family her whole life and cared for him until his last day,” says Zezé .
Some remember Zezé Motta only as an actress but that’s just one facet of the artist. Zezé Motta is the black queen of the Brazil; the woman with the black skin that faced the dictatorship of this country free and naked. Her exercise of interpreting led her to the best venues, the best movies created here, to the hidden corners of this land through television.
Her powerful voice has echoed in the history of Brazilian music for a long time since the old times of the seventies when Zezé recorded her first solo album in which composers of the stature of Rita Lee and Moraes Moreira delivered new songs for her to record. Also, her voice was immortalized in classics like “Trocando em Miúdos” written by Chico Buarque and Francis Hime and “Pecado Original” by Caetano Veloso, which was never the same after her interpretation. And at that time also appeared Luiz Melodia in his musical life, a partnership that remains full and remains vibrant still today.
Zezé Motta has starred in over 45 films and more than 30 novelas (soap operas) and miniseries. In 2014, the actress and singer will celebrate 70 years of life and 50 years of her career.
After the first round of voting – restricted to members of the Academy, the five most voted in each of the 25 categories constitute the list of finalists. The poll of academics is audited by PwC. In this second stage, the audience also participates in the voting to choose the best feature-length fiction, documentary and foreign via the website http://www.academiabrasileiradecinema.com.br or by the fan page (www.facebook.com/GPdoCinemaBrasileiro). The popular voting begins on October 25 (Friday) and ends on the day before the ceremony on 12 November.
Compete for the prize for best supporting actress: Andrea Beltrão as Laura for Os Penetras, Ângela Leal as Dona Marieta for Febre do Rato, Dira Paes as Conceição for Sudoeste , Leandra Leal as Silvia for Boca and Zezé Motta as Priscilla for Gonzaga de pai para filho.
Zezé Motta reveals suffering in her childhood because of racism
courtesy of Instituto Mídia Étnica
Long-time singer and actress Zezé Motta recently revealed on her Facebook page a story about racism that she suffered in her adolescence. According to the actress/singer, she thought she was “ugly” because of comparisons with colleagues related to her nose being “flat”, cabelo “ruim” (bad hair) and bunda “grande” (big butt).
“I suffered with this. I went through a process of an attempt of embranquecimento (whitening),” Zezé revealed. She said that she started straightening her hair and wearing chanel wigs.
“My dream was to put together enough money to have a nose job and make it thinner. I thought about making my butt smaller to be accepted,” she added.
The situation, according to the singer, only began to change in 1969, when she was 25 and traveled to the United States. “I saw blacks in the street, with beautiful cabelos black power (afros). This trip was very important to me. I got in the shower and stopped straightening my hair. It’s not a criticism of those who prefer straight hair, the bad thing is the negation of characteristics,” she added.
Here’s the full story:
“In my adolescence, I thought I was ugly because my colleagues told me that my nose was flat, my hair was bad and my butt was big. I suffered because of this. I went through a process of an attempt of embranquecimento (whitening), I started straightening my hair and I wore a chanel wig. My dream was to put together enough money to have a nose job and make it thinner. I thought about making my butt smaller in order to be accepted. I only started to accept myself in 1969 when I was 25 and traveled to the United States. I saw beautiful blacks in the street, with beautiful cabelos black (afros). This trip was very important to me. I got in the shower and stopped straightening my hair. It’s not a criticism of those who prefer straight hair; the bad thing is the negation of characteristics.”
Pecado Original – Zezé Motta
Zezé Motta – Negritude
Zezé Motta – Crioula
1. Gonzaga – de Pai pra Filho is a Brazilian drama film from 2012, directed by Breno Silveira, written by Patricia Andrade and starring Nivaldo Expedito and Júlio Andrade. Inspired by the biography of legendary singers/musicians Luiz Gonzaga and Gonzaguinha, father and son respectively, the film was released in the national circuits on October 26, 2012 and was broadcast by Rede Globo in the form of a mini-series between January 15 and 18, 2013, in 4 chapters.