10 Great Brazilian Films

We always recommend students of Brazilian Portuguese to watch as many Brazilian films as they can to practice their listening skills and also get to know a bit about Brazilian culture. Of course there are many Brazilian films on DVD that can be ordered online, but a good alternative is to watch Brazilian films on Netflix.

Below is a list of 10 great films available on Netflix US (If you live outside the United States you will need to download hola unblocker). To find out more about hola unblocker, here’s an interesting article: Here’s How You Can Vastly Increase The Number Of Shows And Movies You Can Get On Netflix

With hola unblocker you can also access Netflix Brazil, which has many more Brazilian titles available; however, they’re not subtitled in English.

I hope you enjoy the films!

1. WASTE LAND (LIXO EXTRAORDINÁRIO) – 2010

Renowned artist Vik Muniz embarks on one of the most inspired collaborations of his career, joining creative forces with Brazilian garbage pickers who mine treasure from the trash heaps of Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Gramacho landfill.

Watch the trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNlwh8vT2NU

2. NEIGHBOURING SOUNDS (O SOM AO REDOR) – 2012

Life in a middle-class neighbourhood in present day Recife, Brazil, takes an unexpected turn after the arrival of an independent private security firm. The presence of these men brings a sense of safety and a good deal of anxiety to a culture which runs on fear. Meanwhile, Bia, married and mother of two, must find a way to deal with the constant barking and howling of her neighbour’s dog. A slice of ‘Braziliana’, a reflection on history, violence and noise.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lJIVs7ftNg

3. CAPITAINS OF THE SANDS (CAPITÃES DA AREIA) – 2011

Salvador, Bahia – In Brazil, alive with the charm of the 1950s, a gang of street kids known as “Capitães da Areia” [Captains of the Sands] is hunted like common criminals. As we draw closer, we see that they are just children, almost a hundred of them, completely abandoned. But they won’t be children for long: by the end of this odyssey, many will have become men. This feature film, based on the novel by Jorge Amado, shows a year in the lives of these boys, their incredible adventures, their most wonderful dreams, their visits to hell, discovery of sex, death, and freedom.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMeoIP1g2JE

4. BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS (ANTES QUE O MUNDO ACABE) – 2009

Through the eyes of his 7-year-old sister, teenager Daniel grows up in a little world where his problems seem hopeless. But everything changes when he receives a letter from the father he never met that forces him to make his first adult decisions.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRMCq2x8aVE

5. BEHIND THE SUN (ABRIL DESPEDAÇADO) – 2011

When his older brother is killed, young Tonho is urged by his father to accept his ancestral duty and take revenge. But Tonho is also aware that the bloodshed will not end if he pursues violence in this meditation on war and peace set in Brazil.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v51pBQxJUE

6. DRAINED (O CHEIRO DO RALO) – 2006

In this dark, twisted comedy that premiered at Sundance Film festival, the perfect “bottom” of a waitress and a nauseating toilet smell disrupt the life of a perverse and crazy pawnshop owner.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDGed57J61g

7. FORBIDDEN TO FORBID (PROIBIDO PROIBIR) – 2007

Three young Brazilians try to help a terminally ill woman who lives in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Their idealism becomes shattered, however, when they witness the cruel reality of police brutality.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIzJE1CEJk4

8. FOUND MEMORIES (HISTÓRIAS QUE SÓ EXISTEM QUANDO LEMBRADAS) – 2011

Life in a quiet village rolls slowly from one day to the next with little excitement — until a young photographer named Rita arrives. Intent on capturing the town on film, Rita forms a profound bond with Madalena, an elderly baker.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KX6dfb8lPs

9. ELITE SQUAD (TROPA DE ELITE) – 2007

Tenente-Coronel Nascimento, a hardened vet of Rio de Janeiro’s drug wars, is now head of a special police unit. With his new title comes new responsibilities and dangers, which the captain navigates with brashness and resolve.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb-rUfBTQ1g

10. CITY OF MEN (CIDADE DOS HOMENS) – 2007

In director Paulo Morelli’s follow-up to Fernando Meirelles’s Oscar-nominated City of God, 18-year-old best friends Acerola and Laranjinha are struggling to come to terms with the pressures of manhood in the midst of a bloody neighborhood gang war.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQyKR6ZkbWk

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