The 10 Best Movies from Brazil
(2003) Genre: Drama/ Crime, 148 minutes
Directed by: Hector Babenco - Starring: Caio Blat, Ricardo Blat and Rita Cadillac
Brazilian movieis based on a true story of doctor Drauzio Varella who worked in the Carandiru prison in Sao Paulo. When doctor Drauzio came to visit in order to help prevent AIDS in prison, he found hundreds of Brazilian prisoners in appalling conditions. After the prisoners start a revolt, things get badly out of hand.
Trivia: Brazilian metal band Sepultura wrote a song about this huge revolt in October 1992: 'Manifest'.
(2008) Genre: Crime/ Drama, 110 minutes
Directed by: Bruno Barreto - Starring: Michel Gomes, Chris Vianna and Marcello Melo Junior
Sandro is a boy growing up in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. After his mother was murdered before his eyes, he joins a street gang. During an argument with the police, dozens of children of the gang were slaughtered in the infamous Candelaria massacre. Sandro survives, but has to go to jail. His life became into a downward spiral which breaks him up eventually. One day, he just stopped a bus, armed with a gun...
Trivia: Brazilian movie based on a true story, also documented in
the excellent documentary'Ônibus 174' (2002).
(2007) Genre: Drama/ Comedy, 100 minutes
Directed by: Marcos Jorge - Starring: João Miguel, Fabiula Nascimento and Babu Santana
The way to someone's heart is through the stomach and that is a positive thing for Raimundo Nonato. He has just arrived in an anonymous Brazilian city but has no money. Then Nonato appears to have an unexpected talent for cooking and with this he seduces the prostitute Iria. He starts in a simple bar, but is then accepted by the owner of an Italian restaurant, who teaches him everything about the art of cooking. Nonato, who is anything but a hero, rises above himself with the dishes he creates.
Trivia: The director had first made the prison part of the film, but this proved to be too short... Subsequently, he deepened the prehistory of the plot.
(2001) Genre: Drama, 92 minutes
Directed by: Walter Salles - Starring: Rodrigo Santoro, Ravi Ramos Lacerda and Flavia Marco Antonio
For generations, two families in Brazil have a feud over a piece of land that they both claim. Tonho is about to avenge his family, which of course will be answered by the other family. But when Tonho and his brother Pacu come across a travelling circus, the doubt is being raised between continuing the feud or a peaceful future.
Trivia: The movie is based on a book, 'Broken April', by Ismail Kadare, an Albanian. The original setting of the story is therefore not in Brazil, but in the northern mountains of Albania.
(2003) Genre: Comedy/ Crime, 123 minutes
Directed by: Jorge Furtado - Starring: Lázaro Ramos, Leandra Leal and Luana Piovani
André is 19 years old and lives in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He works as an operator of a copy machine. At night, André spies on Silvia with binoculars and he slowly falls in love with her. One day he decides to follow Silvia to work. There he is looking for a way to get in touch with her.
Trivia: The movie won in 6 categories at the 2004 Grande Prêmio do Cinema Brasileiro, more or less the
(1979) Genre: Drama/ Road movie, 100 minutes
Directed by: Carlos Diegues - Starring: José Wilker, Betty Faria and Fábio Júnior
Brazil in transformation. With jumps, the culture and entertainment of the 19th arrived in the 21st century. A group of travelling showmen adapt to new circumstances and say goodbye to the folkloric Brazil. We follow their journey.
Trivia: The movie was made near the end of the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964-85). Political comment on society needed to be done with caution. 'Bye Bye Brasil' addresses serious concerns about social issues at the time in Brazil, like migration, but it does so with humour and delicacy.
(2007) Genre: Action/ Crime, 115 minutes
Directed by: José Padilha - Starring: Wagner Moura, Caio Junqueira and André Ramiro
Captain Nascimento of BOPE, a special police squad in Rio de Janeiro, is told that he must stop working because of the risks associated with his work. Furthermore, he does not want to miss the birth of his first child. Before he can finally stop working, he must arrange for a successor first. At the same time, the film focuses on two childhood friends, Matias and Neto, who are cadets in the military police. Nevertheless, they get desperate of the surrounding corruption. When the path of Nascimento crosses with those of Matias and Neto, he hopes to find in one of the two his desired successor.
Trivia: After the success of Tropa de Elite, José Padilha also directed the succesful 2010 sequel 'Tropa de Elite 2 - O Inimigo Agora É Outro' (Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within). Some critics say this movie is even better than Tropa de Elite 1.
(1981) Genre: Drama, 122 minutes
Directed by: Hector Babenco - Starring: Fernando Ramos Da Silva, Jorge Juliao and Gilberto Moura
Story about the criminal rascals who populate the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Pixote is about 10 years old. After one of the many raids in the favelas (slums), he went to a house of correction. Humiliation, corruption and abuse are daily routine. After Pixote and his buddies make a deal with a prostitute to rob her customers, things only get worse.
Trivia: Fernando Ramos Da Silva, who played the title character in this '
Cidade de Deusof the 80s' movie, was killed at age 19 by the Sao Paulo police. Ironically, later a film was made about the life of this actor who came from the favelas himself: 'Quem Matou Pixote?' ('Who killed Pixote?'), which was released in 1996.
(1998) Genre: Road movie/ Drama, 113 minutes
Directed by: Walter Salles - Starring: Fernanda Montenegro, Marília Pêra and Vinícius de Oliveira
Near the central station of Rio de Janeiro, Dora, a former teacher of nearly sixty, earns her living by writing letters for illiterate migrants. Her customers include poor Ana and her young son Josué. The boy has never seen his father and hopes to get in touch with him by the letters written by Dora. One day however, Ana is hit fataly by a bus. Left to himself and without a regular income, Josué roams around the station. There he only knows Dora. She will help him to cross the vastness of Brazil to help Josué finding his father.
Trivia: Fernanda Montenegro was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, which made her the first and only Brazilian actress to be nominated for an Oscar. (Gwyneth Paltrow in 'Shakespeare in Love' won in 1999).
(2002) Genre: Drama/ Crime, 135 minutes
Directed by: Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund - Starring: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino and Phellipe Haagensen
Two boys are growing up in one of the most notorious neighborhoods in the world: the 'Cidade de Deus' slum in Rio de Janeiro. In their attempts to escape poverty, they both take a different path: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
Trivia: Widely considered as
Brazil's best movie of all time. This masterpiece is regarded for its swinging, fast cinematography, superb direction and amazing acting by young amateur actors coming from the favelas (slums) themselves.
More trivia About Brazil