Top 3 Brazil documentaries highlight the country’s troubles and triumphs
Brazil is as varied as it is vast. The largest country in South America covers the huge endangered Amazon rainforest, to the crime-infested slums of the inner cities. It’s a melting pot of peoples and cultures with all the friction and creativity that brings about. RTD’s Brazil documentaries open the lid on what makes the country tick, and how people survive in some of the harshest social conditions in the world.
1. Favela Live
The film Favela Live looks at the lives of street children in some of Rio de Janeiro’s poorest slums. The kids are exposed to crime and drugs from an early age, and could easily be caught up in a cycle of self-destruction. While the authorities use heavy-handed policing to combat corruption, locals use clubs and sport, particularly football, to keep youngsters out of the hands of the criminal gangs.
The threat to the people and the fragile eco-system of the Amazon are the subjects of the documentary Jungle M.D. The film accompanies pioneering doctor Erik Jennings as he gives primary care to the indigenous people deep in the Amazon basin. Many of these tribes shun contact with the outside world, and meeting outsiders could bring deadly diseases. Dr Jennings champions the indigenous people’s cause and campaigns for their land to be saved from exploitation.
3. Bolshoi: Pas-de-Brazil
When it comes to dancing Brazil is the capital of samba, but ballet is close on its heels after Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet established a school in the country. Talented children from all over, including the Favela slums of the big cities, get a chance to learn an art form that gives them a career and a future. The poorest kids get full scholarships to the school, where the training takes eight years of hard work.
The inspiration and aspiration of South America’s biggest country can be seen in more of RTD’s Brazil documentaries.