Belo Horizonte (film #442 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Public Service]

This film is a midcentury portrait of Belo Horizonte, Brazil's "planned city with a plan" (wonder if there's any planning involved?). It's not so much about the planning of the city as it is a promotional travelogue about how great the city is, with a heavy focus on the minerals produced in the area. Of course, all of the great things about the city are supposed to be a result of its planning, which controls everything, right down to the schools, churches, recreational facilities, social service agencies, and prisons. By the time they get to the prisons, the "planning" starts to seem a little Orwellian, especially as they end the film with the citizens marching in precise military order, while the narrator rhapsodizes about a "well-ordered Brazil". Fortunately, you just know it's not so neat and tidy in real life.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

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