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Feel like escaping to Brazil this weekend but funds won’t quite stretch to a last minute long-haul weekend break?

Slip on  one of our top 5 picks of Best Brazilian films and dive into tropical paradise- Great escapes… even if they only last a few hours.

Central Station-Winner of countless international film awards, Central Station is the moving story of a journey undertaken by a bitter old school teacher and a young orphan, who fate delivers into her hands.  As they travel into the North-East of Brazil, so begins a journey of self-discovery that will change both of their lives. Constructed with stunning cinematography, this is a film for anyone in the mood for a beautifully shot feel-good film, Brazilian style.

 

City of God– This Brazilian masterpiecetells the story of a group of friends growing up in one of Rio de Janeiro’s roughest favelas (shanty towns). The cast is mostly comprised of amateurs from the favela, and director Fernando Meirelles does an incredible job of melding several plotlines into one action packed thriller. The powerful combination of shocking subject matter and innovative cinematography mean this film is highly recommended for those who want an insight into the darker side of Brazil, away from the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema.

 

Lula – O Filho do Brasil: This is biographical story of Luiz Inacio da Silva, Brazil’s hugely popular outgoing President, who was recently described by Barack Obama as “the most popular politician on the planet”. It follows his rise from a childhood of poverty in the interior to becoming a Trade Union leader in Sao Paulo and organising strikes against the military dictatorship. The film tells his story until 1980 and provides an interesting insight into the character behind the well-known public image.  

 

Black Orpheus – A riotous look at Carnival in a favela, set in the late 1950s, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The samba and bossa nova score provides an excellent insight into Brazilian music, and the costumes and dance scenes ensure that this is a jolly exposure to Carnival, one of the key cultural aspects of Brazil.  This is for all those who love an essential art house film.

 

 

Estomago – A Gastronomic Delight: Tells the story of Raimundo Nonato who, on arriving in Sao Paulo, has to learn to cook in order to survive. His talents mean that he soon comes to the attention of the owner of a top class Italian restaurant and is given a good job.  However, after becoming embroiled with a prostitute, he ends up in prison, where he wins the respect of fellow inmates as a result of his cooking skills. This is an entertaining look at what it takes to survive as an economic migrant to one of Brazil’s major metropolises.

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