It’s amazing the power comedy has – when done intelligently – to transform the minds and thinking of whole nations. Just think back to the devastating impact of Spitting Image in the UK in the 1980s for example.
I am therefore absolutely delighted to be able to introduce this guest article from Fábio Porchat, one of Brazil’s biggest film and television stars, in which he asks us to think deeply on the lessons and reflections from his new film Entre Abelhas, which I reviewed in my previous article.
I would like to thank Fábio for his article which I have translated with his permission from the original which was first published in his weekly column for Estadão.
My new film Entre Abelhas (Amongst Bees) had its premier last Thursday. It is the story of Bruno, who after his divorce, begins to stop seeing people. These people do exist, they are there, but he cannot see them any more. If you were to ask me where such an idea as crazy as this comes from I would reply with another question: Is this really so crazy? More and more we are living in a society where acknowledging others is becoming rare. We live our lives trapped in our own world without even realising that there are other worlds around.
With smartphones, tablets and the like, our lives are inhabited only by ourselves. Why would I need someone else? I have everything within reach of my hands. With a few clicks I pay my bills, I have my food delivered to my home, I solve problems by e-mail … We no longer need to call others any more – now it’s all messaging and WhatsApp. It is increasingly difficult to deal with each other because in this false wonderful world of ourselves, we forget that it is others we depend on to fulfill our requests.
Homeless people and beggars have automatically become invisible to us while we are stationary in traffic. We pretend we do not see that boy hoping to earn a few pennies by juggling at the traffic lights. We just look straight ahead and not at him. We no longer make an effort to get to know the people who deliver leaflets in the street, the girl who checks parking tickets, the waiter, the parking attendant, those people who are living in slums, your neighbour who you don’t know.
Your grandmother who doesn’t visit you any more, your friend who rings you but who you don’t answer out of laziness, your wife, your mother … We really are no longer seeing people any more. And there’s nothing worse than being cast to one side. One day, an aunt told me that going deaf was far worse than going blind because when you are deaf, people lose interest in you and you come to be treated like a three year old.
I’m sure that most people make themselves crazy because there is no one to listen, pay attention to them and allow them to speak. The lack of a real conversationalist, someone who cares about what you are saying, however insignificant it may or appear to be, will undermine people’s manners. If no one cares about me, why should I have to care about others?
Take this test: the next time you meet someone, whoever they may be, let them speak and really pay attention to what they are saying. Our worst enemies are those words which have not been spoken but which accumulate in our heads and end up mixing and forming thoughts which should not be there. Speaking means to be really listening.
But anyway, do please go to the cinema and then come back to tell me what you thought of the film. I hope you enjoy it. But remember to look at the person who takes your ticket and as you say “hi” remember to give them a smile.
This article was first published in Estadão on 3rd May 2015 (‘Entre Abelhas‘), and has been published with permission from Fábio Porchat.