Archives, Culture

5 Films to Help Understand Brazilian Culture

Hey y’all! Hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been very focused the last few weeks on applying to jobs and settling back into home.

Not to make you all think I’m pining over Brazil, but I had this film post idea that was a bit out of the box for me, but still exciting so I just ran with it. If you love foreign films or are trying to learn Portuguese, this is the post for you! I think all these films do a great job of displaying Brazil in different lights, and in different contexts to help you understand the cultural background. I watched most of these in class, but found myself pretty wrapped up in the story lines! All should be available with English subtitles through Amazon or other providers.

Que Horas Ela Volta?

Trailer 

This film, made in 2015, portrays the life of a live-in maid to a wealthy family in Sao Paulo. Controversial when first released, this film brings light into the social hierarchy that existed for many years within Brazilian households through the story of a mother and her daughter.

Zuzu Angel

Trailer

Based on the true story during Brazil’s military dictatorship, a famous fashion designer goes above and beyond to find out where her missing son is, and ruffles some feathers along the way.

Cidade de Deus

Trailer

Made in 2002, this film tells the story of one young man living in a favela (slum) who uses the power of photography to tell an incredible story about neighborhood drug wars. Not for the faint of heart, this film has plenty of violence and took me a while to get through.

Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos

Trailer

A comedic tale of a woman, twice married, who starts seeing the ghost of her first husband and all the mayhem he creates in her everyday life.

Rio

Trailer

Now some may think I threw this one in for fun, but in actual reality I think DreamWorks did a fantastic job making this animated movie. Following the story of a Blue Macaw, Blu takes you all around the city to major touristic spots and shows important cultural things like favelas and carnaval! The soundtrack is also amazing and displays some Brazilian style music.

If you’re a real film buff, may I suggest two bonus films that are both on YouTube, Pixote and Orfeu Negro. Both older, classic films that will give you deeper insight but might not be available in English. Take a look and let me know 🙂

If you have other Brazilian films you enjoy, leave a comment! As always, have wonderful weeks y’all!

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