Here’s an imperfect translation of a story that I wrote when I was 14 years old. I remember being so proud of myself for writing it. It was for a competition where they give you the italicized part and you have to continue the story. I was so disappointed that I didn’t win that year. I don’t really know what to think about it now. I seem to have written one of those female characters that are just narrative devices in a man’s story. She is passionate, says all the right words and wakes the hero from his lethargy. I wonder what direction the story would have taken if I had written it today.
J’ai écrit ce texte quand j’avais 14 ans. Je me souviens avoir été tellement fière de l’avoir écrit. C’était pour une compétition où on vous donne la partie en italique et vous devez continuer l’histoire. J’ai été trop déçue de ne pas avoir gagné cette année-là. Je ne sais pas trop quoi en penser maintenant…
How could the men we know be monsters? Monsters were creepy old dudes lurking in gloomy streets, preying on virginal girls. Not boys having sex with their girlfriends. Getting the friends involved was certainly questionable. But how could it be rape? The boys who befriended my family, who were at my house all the time, making me laugh so often, couldn’t be rapists. Could they?
These people we love But that we cannot reach We feel the love boiling inside Feel that they are somehow a part of us A part of our story But sometimes the words fail us We struggle to meet them Across the gap of time Across the opportunities That made us different Made that our…
“What’s the difference between menstrual blood and blood that is clean? What’s so disgusting about this blood?…You were born of this blood! It is cleaner than the blood of your own body!”
But when you fall, you’ll see
You’ll hear them saying
How you’ve set the fight back for your entire race.
Home is a killing ground
At home, when you go out
You might never come back
Meirelles and Lund’s City of God (2002) is an action-packed story about a poverty-stricken slum in Rio de Janeiro, as told by a young boy name Buscapé. The film is divided into three parts: The late 60s, the 70s, and early 80s, thus spanning a period of one and a half-decade, which saw a sprawling…