Brazilian cinema has a culturally expressive and telling history. From “Chanchada,” musical comedies that promoted carnival music from the 1930s through 1950s, to the celebrated “Cinema Novo” movement of the 1960s, rooted in realism and influencing a new culture in Brazil, to the late 1990s which saw a resurgence of film known as the “Retomada” after the film industry had been heavily dominated by state funding and distribution. In this Weekend Playlist, we bring you all the real and fresh films from contemporary Brazilian cinema that Fandor has to offer. Including Neighbouring Sounds directed by local film critic Kléber Mendonça Filho, Sunday Ball directed by Eryk Rocha, son of Cinema Novo director Glauber Rocha, and Lower City directed by Sérgio Machado and produced by the internationally acclaimed Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles, among other great shorts and features by award-winning Brazilian directors!

Top 5 from the Playlist

1. Sunday Ball

Become immersed in a soccer competition among favela teams in Rio de Janeiro in this gorgeously shot, fierce film by Eryk Rocha (son of influential filmmaker Glauber Rocha). Rhythmic editing works in tandem with the game, and the original score by Jorge Amorim which consists of percussion and classical pieces heightens the mood and captures the poetic beauty of a soccer match.

2. Neighbouring Sounds

Winner of many festivals in Europe and the U.S., and selected as the Brazilian submission for Best Foreign Language film at the 86th Academy Awards®; critic and director Kléber Mendonça Filho’s first feature-length drama, Neighbouring Sounds, is a tense drama set in a middle class neighborhood in Recife, one of Brazil’s largest metropolitan cities. When an independent private security team is hired to watch over a neighborhood, it fuels and surfaces fears and class tensions.

3. Where I Grow Old (New to Fandor)

The debut fiction feature by Brazilian filmmaker Marilia Rocha (who is known for her documentaries), is a character study on Francisca and Teresa, two young woman establishing roots in Brazil. Francisca is homesick for Lisbon, while Teresa is a new transplant in Belo Horizonte. Where I Grow Old or A Cidade onde Envelheço has won awards at the Biarritz International Film Festival and Brazilia Festival of Brazilian Cinema, as well as nominated at Chicago International Film Festival and Rotterdam Film Festival, among others.  

4. Obra (New to Fandor)

Winner of the Best Latin American Film award from the FIPRESCI Intl. Federation of Film Critics at Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. Stark black and white imagery beautifully engross the viewer into a story that contains a buried secret. A junior architect discovers a cemetery buried under the building he is demolishing to make way for a new tower, property owned by his grandfather. The discovery leads to many unanswered questions from the past and moral dilemmas of the present.

5. Man of the Crowd (New to Fandor)

Winner of Best Director at Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival and based on the short story of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe, Man of the Crowd tackles the feeling of loneliness and solitude by portraying one character who follows crowds without being able to relate and another who prefers a virtual world. Shot in square format, Man of the Crowd is the work of Marcelo Gomes and Cao Guimarães. Gomes’ debut film Cinema, Aspirin and Vultures, premiered at Un Certain Regard, Cannes and is available to watch on Fandor, along with his film I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You. Filmmaker and Artist Cao Guimarães has directed nine feature films, has been awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for creative arts and is collected at major museums all over the world.

Interested in more Brazilian films? Watch the whole playlist: Contemporary Brazilian Cinema