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Please make sure to watch the film Burn! Queimada (1969) by Gillo Pontecorvo, which is available on YouTube online here:

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This is a fictional narrative about the process of independence of an imagined Portuguese colony in the Caribbean called Queimada. It is based very loosely on the history of the Haitian Revolution, which we will be talking about on Monday.

As you watch it, please make sure you make note of the following:

1) Why is the island on which the fictional narrative takes place called Queimada? (“queimada” in Portuguese means “burned”).

2) What history do we learn about the island in the opening scenes?

3) Who is William Walker and why does he go to the island? Who is he working for? What is his relationship to the leadership of the island? Why does the leadership need him?

4) Who was executed just before William Walker arrives to the island? Why does the governor of the island tell William Walker it’s too late?

5) Who is Jose Dolores? Why is he so important to both William Walker and to the governor of the island?

6) This narrative is about colonial violence, woven through the lenses of tragedy and hope among many other things. What elements of tragedy stand out to you? What elements of hope?

7) What important commentary on the imaginary and symbolism does William Walker make?

8) What important commentary on freedom does Jose Dolores make?

9) What is it that William Walker ultimately fails to understand?

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