Classic Brazilian Films
Movies are a great tool for learning a new language. Here you find some suggestions for some of the greatest Brazilian films.
Waste Land (2010)
Directed by Lucy Walker
City of God (2002)
Directed by Fernando Meireles
Other Classic Films
O que é Isso Companheiro Four Days In September (1997) Directed by Bruno Barreto
Fernando and his friend César join terrorist group MR8 and kidnap the American ambassador in Brazil. True story.
O Cheiro do Ralo Drained (2006) Directed by Heitor Dhalia
A pawn shop proprietor buys used goods from desperate locals--as much to play perverse power games as for his own livelihood, but when the perfect rump and a backed-up toilet enter his life, he loses all control.
Tropa de Elite 2 Elite Squad II (2010) Directed by José Padilha
Fifteen years after a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups.
Tropa de Elite Elite Squad (2008) Directed by José Padilha
Captain Nascimento has to find a substitute for his occupation while trying to take down drug dealers and criminals before the Pope comes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Central do Brasil Central Station (1998) Directed by Walter Salles
An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who write letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, in search for the father he never knew.
Cidade dos Homens City of Men (2007) Directed by Fernando Meirelles
Best buddies Acerola and Laranjinha, about to turn 18, discover things about their missing fathers' pasts which will shatter their solid friendship, in the middle of a war between rival drug gangs from Rio's favelas.
Cidade de Deus, City of God (1997) Directed by Fernando Meirelles
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.
Lula, O Filho do Brasil Lula, The Son of Brazil (2011) Directed by Fábio Barreto
The true story of a working class boy who moves to the nation's financial capital at a young age and becomes one the most influential politician in Brazil's history.
Chico Xavier Chico Xavier - The Movie (2011) Directed by Daniel Filho
A biography of spiritual medium and author Francisco Candido Xavier.
Zuzu Angel Zuzu Angel (2006) Directed by Sérgio Rezende
Zuzu Angel (Patricia Pillar), a successful stylist who designed the Brazilian fashion world. Zuzu Angel, a mother who waged a struggle against all odds in pursuit of her son Stuart (Daniel De Oliveira). The '70s saw the world upside down. In Brazil, a career as a fashion designer Zuzu Angel begins to take off while her son Stuart joined the student movement against the military dictatorship then ongoing in the country. Stuart is imprisoned, tortured and murdered by agents of the Information Center Air Force. Then comes the tour of Zuzu, denouncing torture and death of her son.
Carandiru (2003) Directed by Héctor Babenco
Film based on real life experiences of doctor Drauzio Varella inside dreadful State penitentiary Carandiru, in São Paulo, Brazil, while he was doing a social work of Aids prevention. There he found hundreds of convicts living under degrading conditions. The situation came to a climax in 1992, when in order to smother a rebellion, police force killed 111 men.
Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1979) Directed by Bruno Barreto
In a small city of Brazil, Flor (a very good looking woman) marries Vadinho, a very handsome and erotic man. Once married she finds he is a good-for-nothing. She works teaching cooking to her neighbours but he takes all her money to gamble. One day he dies. Flor misses the goods of the marriage so she marries again with a very correct gentleman - the owner of the drugstore (Teodoro). Now she's very happy with her man, but misses the erotic moments with her previous husband. Then the ghost of Vadhino comes to earth to chase her.
O Bem Amado The Beloved (2010) Directed by Guel Arraes
Based on the work of Dias Gomes, The Beloved tells the story of the mayor Odorico Paraguaçu (Marco Nanini), whose primary goal in his administration in the city of Sucupira, the opening of a cemetery. On one side is supported by the sisters Cajazeiras. On the other, has to fight against strong opposition led by Vladimir, owner of the rag in town. Odorico gun situations that he may die someone dies, but the first body to be buried in Sucupira will be the mayor himself, that the hunter becomes hunting and goes from villain to martyr.
A Hora da Estrela Hour of the Star (2009) Directed by Susana Amaral
Macabea has just moved to the big city after her aunt, who raised her, died. She gets a job as a typist and moves into a boarding house with three other women. In her spare time she listens to time Radio Station; on Sundays she likes to ride the subways. She describes herself saying, "I am a typist and a virgin, and I like Coca-Cola." Then she meets Olimpico, a north-easterner like herself, who has dreams of becoming a Congressman.
No Olho da Rua Dismissed (2011) Directed by Rogério Corrêa
Oton (Murilo Rosa), 38 years old, metal worker, Camilla’s husband (Gabriela Flores), is fired from a company he worked over twenty years and gets to work making gears with his pick-up. By having his car stolen, can no longer sustain the family and is abandoned by his wife, who takes their two children. Unable to pay rent, is evicted and goes to sleep in the street until it settles back to the factory to demand his job back.
Ganga Bruta (1933) Directed by Humberto Mauro
A man kills his wife on their wedding night, after discovering she had been unfaithful. After being acquitted, he moves to the country, where he falls in love with an innocent girl.
Pixote (1981) Direct by Hector Babenco
The life of a boy in the streets of Sao Paulo, involved with little crimes, prostitution, etc.
Besouro Beetle (2009) Directed by João Daniel Tikhomiroff
Beetle was the greatest capoeira player in Brazil. In the past 20 years of Recôncavo, Beetle is an adventure film, passion, mysticism and courage. A story immortalized by generations, which arrives in theaters with action and poetry in the stunning scenery of the Recôncavo.
Mulher Invisível Invisible Woman (2009) Directed by Claudio Torres
A romantic comedy in which a 35-year old man is abandoned by his wife and falls in love with his neighbor, a perfect, ideal woman. The only problem: she doesn't exist!
Ilha das Flores, Isle of Flowers (1989) Directed by Jorge Furtado
This film portrays the contemporary society, focusing on their problems in the social, economic and cultural, as it contrasts the strength of the appeal of consumerism, the deviations culture portrayed in the waste, and the price of human freedom as an individual being and responsible for their own survival.
Parada 174, Last Stop 174 (2008) Directed by Bruno Barreto
A chronicle of a real-life bus hijacking in Rio de Janeiro that occurred on June 12, 2000.
Deus É Brasileiro God is Brazilian (2003) Directed Carlos Diegues
God is getting tired. So he looks for a saint to take his place for a while.
Estômago Stomach, A Gastronomic Story (2007) Directed by Paulo More
Nonato finds a path to the party: he cooks. And it is in the kitchen of a tavern, an Italian restaurant and a prison - what he did to end up there? - That their lives Nonato intriguing story. And also learn the rules of society that devour or are devoured. Rules that it uses in its favor, because even the cooks have the right to eat your part - and they know more than anyone, what is the best part.
Amarelo Manga Manga Yellow (2003) Directed by Claudio Assis
Short stories revolving around a bar and a hotel in Recife, unveil a mosaic of exotic characters living in the Brazilian underground: a butcher married with an evangelical woman, a necrophile in love with a bar owner, a transvestite, and many others.
O Homen que Copiava The Man Who Copied (2003) Directed by Jorge Furtado
André (Lázaro Ramos) is a 20 year old who works in the stationery Photocopying Gomide, located in Porto Alegre. Andrew lives with his mother and has an ordinary life, basically living from home to work and always doing the same activities. One day Andrew falls for Silvia (Leandra Leal), a neighbor, who is watching with binoculars in his room. Determined to know her better, Andrew discovers that she works in a clothing store, and to get closer, try in every way to get 38 dollars to buy a gift for his mother alleged.
Meu Nome Não É Johnny My Name Ain't Johnny (2008) Directed by Mauro Lima
The true story of João Guilherme Estrella ("Johnny"), a young middle-class bon vivant who became a big-time cocaine dealer in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1990s.
Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol Black God, White Devil (1964) Directed by Glauber Rocha
Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of common rural worker Manuel into a life of crime, joining the gang of Antonio's sworn enemy, Corisco the Blond Devil (Othon Bastos), and the Pedra Bonita Massacre.
Olhos Azuis Blue Eyes (2009) Directed by José Joffily
Before his compulsory retirement, on his last day of work, Marshall, JFK airport's chief Immigration officer, detains a group of Latin Americans and expose them to a series of humiliating situations. Blinded by prejudice, Marshall ends up causing the death of a young Brazilian. After a period in prison, Marshall goes to Brazil, deadly ill and in a desperate search in order to purge his guilt. In his quest, he is guided by Bia, a young prostitute.
O Pagador de Promessas The Payer of Promisses (1962) Directed by Anselmo DuarteZé is a very poor man from the Brazilian countryside. His most prized possession is his donkey. When his donkey falls terminally ill, Zé makes a promise to Saint Bárbara: If his donkey recovers, he will carry a cross - like Jesus - all the way from his city to Saint Bárbara's church in the state capital. Upon the recover of his donkey, Zé leaves on his journey. He makes it to the church, but the priest refuses to accept the cross once he came to know the context of Zé's promise.