Caetano Veloso Shines a Light on Brazil's Dark Past Under Military Rule with New Documentary

Watch the first trailer for 'Narcissus Off Duty'
Caetano Veloso Shines a Light on Brazil's Dark Past Under Military Rule with New Documentary
Tropicália legend Caetano Veloso is the subject of a new documentary film, and today we've got a first trailer for the project.

The doc is titled Narcissus Off Duty, and it was directed by Renato Terra and Ricardo Calil. The film will shine a light on Veloso's arrest in 1968 under Brazil's military dictatorship of the time, when the musician was taken from his São Paulo home and placed in solitary confinement for one week and held behind bars for 54 days.  

Narcissus Off Duty finds Veloso telling his account of the traumatic event in detail, as well as performing songs that came in the wake of the terrifying incident.

When asked by Variety what prompted the songwriter to tell his story, he replied: "Brazil has a government that says that the military dictatorship was a good thing. And they are trying to cast it in a positive light. So it's timely to talk about that period the way I do in the film now."

When asked how the experience shaped him as an artist, Veloso said the following:

It was inevitable that it would have an influence on my artistic creation and activity. No doubt. I composed a song while I was imprisoned, and then years later I wrote a song about the first time I saw a photograph of planet earth from outer space (while incarcerated). Of course my deep feelings about being alive, about being a person, all these feelings changed. And for a while I was kind of depressed after the imprisonment. And during my first year of exile in London I felt a lot less capable of deciding what I was going to do. I felt more passive in facing life. It was different. In the second year in London I started to feel like I was free to think and act. I started recording and singing. But the first record I made there I was still under this depressed state of mind. Some of the things I had wanted to do, such as stop composing songs and go around Brazil making films — all these things that I was planning — I just gave up. I didn't have enough strength. So, yes. The fact that I was imprisoned the way I did, it did have a heavy consequence on my personality.

The Narcissus Off Duty documentary will premiere on September 7 at the Venice Film Festival. Watch the trailer below courtesy of Variety.