A Brazilian series of Netflix seems to anticipate the future of Brazil: the 3% series evokes a Brazil where 97% of the inhabitants are poor. This certainly deconstructs the myth of the emergence of Brazil or the even older myth of the economic miracle, but it is similar to the worst-case scenario of a country where nearly 35 million people live in the informal economy and where unemployment has risen threefold in four years.
In this series « the world is divided into two sides, one abundant, the other with very limited resources. In between, there is a selection process (…to move from one side to the other, editor’s note) ». Here is the message that appears in the very first seconds of the first episode of « 3% ». In a so-called dystopic future (i. e. contrary to utopia, the imagined society is unbearable and must not be taken as a model), only 3% of 20 year olds will have access to the island « Le Large », a perfect and abundant world. Through a series of tests of logic, effort and intellect, they will try to leave their environment of extreme poverty in order to reach the 3% of the population who live on the margins, in a perfect society where nothing is missing ».
« 3% », the Brazilian anticipation series that flirts with a dark reality
This text written in 2016 by the editors of the very good blog Francetvinfo de Rio is even more striking when the new president himself seems to have emerged from another dystopic series of Netflix, and where Donald Trump would be a minister of universal music culture in love with Erik Satie (it is true, our scenario is not very credible, but in a world that changes so quickly, a misfortune has happened so quickly…). It is indeed tempting to draw a parallel between the universe of the series, (corruption, urban poverty, lies) created by the author of the « City of God », César Charlonne, and the reality of a country where 10% of the Brazilian population would live with less than 80 euros per month and would be confronted with extreme violence and partial justice but where, on the contrary, mutual aid and solidarity would be omnipresent values and the well-off omniscient class. Pedro Aguilera, the writer and producer of the series, considers « the theme of meritocracy as typical of our society and which he believes will last for decades » (op. cit.). This series is a hit in Brazil, despite the very strong competition with telenovelas, which are increasingly becoming an essential aspect of Brazilian softpower and seem to be opening up to the graces of foreign markets where this Brazilian « hunger games » is more and more popular. It is probably necessary to take the analyses of francetvinfo as a wishful thinking. May the proposed dystopia never be a utopia.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator