João Francisco dos Santos (1900-1976) was born in a family of ex-slaves in Brazil. An ex-convict and a father of 7, he sought refuge in the dark Bohemian culture of Rio de Janeiro’s Lapa district, amidst a lively world of pimps, prostitutes, deviants and samba composers. João is quoted for once saying “I was born an outlaw, that’s how I’ll live.” In between his drag performances, his days as a hustler and his convictions of murder, his image as the legendary cabaret performance artist “Madame Satan” made him a main character in Brazilian popular culture. Brazilian director Karim Ainouz gives his vision of an outcast flamboyant character who became an icon of resistance in the post abolitionist era in Brazil where blacks, prostitutes, and low life outcasts were deemed useless to society.
Karim Aïnouz was born in 1966 in Fortaleza, Brazil. After studying Architecture at the University of Brasilia and Film Studies at New York University, Karim Aïnouz participated in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1993. From 1989 to 1992, he worked on various feature film projects as assistant to the director Todd Haynes, and from 1992 to 1996 he was an assistant editor in the production of more than 20 feature films. He is co-author of the film “Behind the Sun” (2001) by Walter Salles. In 1992, Aïnouz began to devote himself to his own film projects. He has received numerous promotional awards and fellowships, including from the highly-regarded Hubert Bals Fonds (Netherlands), the New York Foundation for the Arts (USA) and the Fundação Itaú Cultural (Brazil). His documentary film “Seams” (1993) received the Vito Russo Award of the New Festival in New York, his short film “Paixão Nacional” (1994) was shown at festivals including Oberhausen, Rotterdam… read more