Beyond Citizen Kane

Last updated

Beyond Citizen Kane
Directed by Simon Hartog
Produced by John Ellis
Written bySimon Hartog
Narrated by Chris Kelly
Edited byJohn Ellis
Simon Hartog
Distributed by Channel 4
Release date
  • 10 May 1993 (1993-05-10) [1]
Running time
105 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Languages English

Beyond Citizen Kane is a 1993 British documentary film directed by Simon Hartog, produced by John Ellis, and first broadcast on Channel 4. It details the dominant position of the Globo media group, the largest in Brazil, and discusses the group's influence, power, and political connections. [2] Globo's president and founder Roberto Marinho was criticised and compared to the fictional newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane, created by Orson Welles for the 1941 film Citizen Kane . According to the documentary, Marinho's media group engages in manipulation of news to influence public opinion. [2]


TV Globo (known as Rede Globo at the time of filming) objected to the film's position and tried to buy Brazilian rights, but Hartog had already made agreements to give non-television rights to political and cultural groups in Brazil. However, the documentary cannot be broadcast on television in Brazil since it contains large sections of footage owned by Globo. [3] Nevertheless, copies sold in Britain reached Brazil in the 1990s and circulated widely there.

In addition, since the internet boom of the early 21st century, the film has been released on video-sharing websites such as YouTube and Google Video.

Plot summary

The documentary tracks Globo's involvement with and support of the Brazilian military government; its illegal partnership of the 1960s with the American group Time-Life; Marinho's political connections (notably its owner's connections with Antonio Carlos Magalhães, Minister of Telecommunications) and manoeuvres (such as airing in Jornal Nacional , the network's prime time news programme since 1969, highlights of a 1989 presidential debate edited in a way as to favour Fernando Collor de Mello); and a controversial deal involving shares of NEC Corporation and government contracts. It features interviews with 21 people, including noted Brazilian politicians and cultural figures, such as politicians Leonel Brizola and Antonio Carlos Magalhães, singer-songwriter Chico Buarque, former Justice Minister Armando Falcão, politician Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (who would be serve as President from 2003 to 2010); and former employees Walter Clark, Wianey Pinheiro and Armando Nogueira. [4]

The title refers to the 1941 film, Citizen Kane, whose fictional newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane was created by the director and actor Orson Welles. He was believed to have been based on the American publisher William Randolph Hearst, noted for creating yellow journalism and exploiting the press. The 1993 British documentary criticised Globo's president and founder Roberto Marinho for his close ties to the military dictatorship and suggestively compared him to the Kane figure for manipulation of news. [2]


Dispute with Globo over British rights

The documentary was first shown on 10 May 1993 in the United Kingdom, broadcast of the programme had been delayed for a year as Rede Globo disputed the programme makers' right under British law to use short extracts from Globo programmes without permission, for the purposes of "critical comment and review".

During this period of legal manoeuvring, Simon Hartog, the director, died after a long illness. The process of editing was taken over by his co-producer John Ellis. When the film was eventually broadcast, the production company sold copies in the United Kingdom at cost. Many individuals in the Brazilian community in Britain sent copies to associates and friends in Brazil.

Censorship in Brazil

The film was also to be shown at the Museum of Image and Sound (MIS) of São Paulo. The MIS copy was confiscated after two screenings, according to a later account by Anhaia Geraldo Mello, then coordinator of the TV and Video Museum. He said the order came from the governor of São Paulo, Luiz Antonio Fleury Filho. The official story at the time was that the film was cancelled because of technical problems. [4]

Through the 1990s, the film was illegally screened by universities, political groups and unions, as copies were made available informally. [4] In 1995, Globo requested in court to confiscate copies of the film available at the library of the University of São Paulo, but it was over-ruled. The film was officially restricted to university groups until the 2000s, when the internet boom in Brazil [2] made it impossible to control access, as people could put it on the web (and did). (Brazil is the fifth country internationally by number of web users and first in time spent by individuals on Internet use monthly.) [2]

Screenings and internet phenomenon

At the time of release, Rede Globo sought to buy the Brazilian rights to the programme, presumably seeking to suppress it. But during production, as part of his working with groups in Brazil, Hartog had made agreements to give them the non-television rights to ensure wide showing of the programme by both cultural and political organisations. Globo lost interest in buying the programme when they learned this, and as of 2015, it had not been broadcast on television in Brazil.

But numerous VHS and DVD copies have circulated, and the documentary has become available on the internet, via peer-to-peer networks and video-sharing websites, such as YouTube and Google Video (where it has been watched nearly 600,000 times). Contrary to popular belief, the movie is also legally available in Brazil, though copies are difficult to find, mostly buried in libraries and private collections. [4]

On 20 August 2009, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported that the Record television network bought the broadcasting rights of the documentary from producer John Ellis for less than US$20,000. This happened after the Globo and Record attacked each other through their media during an investigation conducted by the Public Prosecutor's Office against Edir Macedo and other high profile members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God has owned Rede Record since 9 November 1989. [5] [6]

On 14 February 2011, the newspaper Jornal do Brasil (quoting the network's spokesperson) reported that Rede Record would broadcast the documentary in 2012. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

TV Globo, formerly known as Rede Globo is a Brazilian free-to-air television network, launched by media proprietor Roberto Marinho on 26 April 1965. It is owned by media conglomerate Grupo Globo, being by far the largest of its holdings. Globo is the largest commercial TV network in Latin America and the second-largest commercial TV network in the world behind the American Broadcasting Company and the largest producer of telenovelas. All of this makes Globo renowned as one of the most important television networks in the world and Grupo Globo one of the largest media groups.

O Globo is a Brazilian newspaper based in Rio de Janeiro. O Globo is the most prominent print publication in the Grupo Globo media conglomerate.

Simon Hartog was a British filmmaker who worked as both director and producer. He helped develop an independent film industry in the United Kingdom (UK), founding London Film-Makers' Co-op in the 1960s, key to the avant-garde; working on independent documentaries, and founding the production company, Large Door Ltd. Through the Independent Filmmakers' Association, he campaigned for an independent Channel 4. Through his company, Hartog produced a series on world cinema, Visions, that ran on the channel for three years.

Rede Manchete Brazilian television network

Rede Manchete was a Brazilian television network that was founded in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1983 by the Ukrainian-Brazilian journalist and businessman Adolpho Bloch. The network remained on the air until 10 May 1999. It was part of Grupo Bloch, which published the magazine Manchete by Bloch Editores, its publishing division; the television network was named after the magazine.

RecordTV Brazilian television network

RecordTV is a Brazilian free-to-air commercial television network established on September 27, 1953 as TV Record by the businessman and media personality Paulo Machado de Carvalho.

Film censorship

Film censorship is carried out by various countries to differing degrees, sometimes as a result of powerful or relentless lobbying by organizations or individuals. Films that are banned in a particular country change over time.

<i>Jornal Nacional</i>

Jornal Nacional is a Brazilian Emmy-winning primetime news program aired by Rede Globo since September 1, 1969. It was the first news program broadcast live by a television network throughout Brazil.

<i>Televisão</i> 1985 studio album by Titãs

Televisão (Television) is the second studio album by Brazilian rock band Titãs, released in 1985 via WEA. It is the first album to feature drummer Charles Gavin, following André Jung's departure in the previous year.

Pedro Bial

Pedro Bial is a Brazilian producer, director, writer, journalist and a TV presenter. He is best known for hosting the variety show Fantástico, and the reality show Big Brother Brasil.

Tereza Seiblitz

Ana Tereza Milanez de Lossio e Seiblitz or Tereza Seiblitz is a Brazilian actress.

Record News Brazilian television network

Record News is the first 24-hour free-to-air terrestrial news channel in Brazil, and the third Brazilian news channel to be launched after GloboNews and BandNews TV. It is owned by RecordTV.

Globo (conglomerate) Brazilian media group

Grupo Globo, also known as Organizações Globo, is the largest mass media group of Latin America, founded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1925 by Irineu Marinho. It also formerly owned companies in the food industry, real estate and financial markets. The majority subsidiaries and brands of the company are O Globo, TV Globo, Rádio Globo and CBN. It also formerly owned the record label Som Livre.

Censorship in Brazil, both cultural and political, occurred throughout the whole period following the colonization of the country. Even though most state censorship ended just before the period of redemocratization that started in 1985, Brazil still experiences a certain amount of non-official censorship today. The current legislation restricts freedom of expression concerning racism and the Constitution prohibits the anonymity of journalists.

Falcão – Meninos do Tráfico is a Brazilian documentary television film directed by rapper MV Bill and Celso Athayde, and associate produced by Central Única das Favelas, about the life of young favela dwellers who work with drug trafficking.

TV Globo Internacional is an international pay television channel broadcasting from Brazil. It was launched on 24 August 1999 and it is owned by Grupo Globo.

Fernando Grostein Andrade

Fernando Grostein Andrade is a Brazilian filmmaker, director, producer, screenwriter, director of photography, and media entrepreneur. He is a columnist for VEJA magazine and the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. His best-known work is the documentary Quebrando o Tabu, which discusses alternative policies to the War on Drugs and features former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso as well as former US presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, infectologist Drauzio Varella and writer Paulo Coelho. In 2012, in partnership with Sun Dog Pictures, owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, the documentary was adapted into an international version which was narrated by actor Morgan Freeman. The project has spun off into the largest online platform in defense for human rights, with over 15 million followers between Facebook and Instagram.

Ingra Lyberato Brazilian actress (born 1966)

Ingra de Souza Liberato is a Brazilian actress. From 2016 she began to sign as Ingra Lyberato.

Criticism of Rede Globo

Criticism of TV Globo refers to the extensive history of controversies involving the Brazillian television network, which has an unparalleled ability to influence Brazil's culture and shape the country's public opinion. Globo's owners enriched themselves with government favors until becoming billionaires.

<i>Jornal da Record</i>

Jornal da Record is a Brazilian news program, broadcasts on RecordTV every Monday to Friday at 21:30 and Saturday at 19:45 (BRT).


  1. Entry at the British Film Institute
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Folha Universal. "Crença na impunidade", Arca Universal. (27-09-09).
  3. "Produtor de documentário antiGlobo diz que TV pública vem tarde demais – 24/02/2008 – Poder – Folha de S.Paulo". Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Documentário polêmico sobre a Globo completa dez anos" (Controversial documentary about Globo celebrates ten years) Archived 24 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine , O Estado de S. Paulo 8 August 2003 (in Portuguese), accessed (on Google Translate) 23 June 2013
  5. "Documentário vira arma de Record contra Globo" (Documentary becomes Record's weapon against Globo), Terra, 21 August 2009
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), 20 August 2009
  7. "Muito além do cidadão Marinho" (Far Beyond Citizen Marinho), Jornal do Brasil, 14-02-11, accessed in translation 24 June 2013