From the first screening of a film in Brazil, in 1896, in Rio de Janeiro, to the first national productions, dating from the beginning of the 20th century, with the short “Os Estranguladores” and the feature “O Crime dos Banhados”, cinema has won space as one of the most recognized forms of expression of national culture. Celebrated on June 19, the Brazilian Cinema Day celebrates the first moving image capture recorded in the country, dating from 1898.
Since then, different aspects have marked scripts that have passed through the screening rooms: Cinema Novo, breaking foreign standards to highlight popular themes of a social and political nature; the Cinema Marginal, in opposition to the military regime and the extinct Empresa Brasileira de Filmes (Embrafilme), submitted to the interests of the dictatorship; the chanchadas and pornochanchadas, comedies, musicals and porn, edited with low budgets, transcending the period in which they were made.
More recently, initiatives including the Centro Afro Carioca de Cinema and indigenous film platforms and festivals have reversed the logic of domination imposed by elite sectors by rescuing invisible works and boosting diversity among directors, casts, technical teams and scripts in productions. rounds within the country.
Internationally, between moments of effervescence or crisis for the film industry, national works reached foreign audiences and prestigious awards at festivals in Africa, Latin America and Europe, placing Brazilian cinema in the collective memory of other places and countries.
Check out some examples of these films that won the world below.
Central do Brasil – DVD
Price: BRL 54.99*
Winner of awards such as the Golden Globe trophy in the category of best foreign film and always remembered for Fernanda Montenegro’s Oscar nomination as best actress for her performance in the role of retired teacher Dora, “Central do Brasil” became a phenomenon in portraying in depth the reality of millions of Brazilians through the stories of the protagonist, the boy Josué and other characters of the film released in 1998.
What Time Will She Come Back – BluRay
Price: from BRL 199.90*
The family drama portrays the life of a nanny who works for a wealthy family in São Paulo, revealing conflicts and inequalities produced from this relationship, strained by the arrival of the domestic worker’s daughter at the bosses’ house. Won the International Confederation of Art and Essay Film Award at the Berlinale International Festival and for acting at the Saudance Festival given to actresses Regina Casé and Camila Márdila.
The Promise Payer – DVD
Price: BRL 170*
It was the first Brazilian feature to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and to be nominated for an Oscar in the category of best foreign film, in 1963. The story shows a humble man who makes a promise and, in trying to keep it, faces religious and moral barriers, in a script marked by social criticism, set in Bahia.
Carandiru – DVD
Price: RS 79.90*
Reporting stories of detainees in what was the largest prison in Latin America, “Carandiru” highlighted the prison reality faced by thousands in deprivation of liberty in Brazil. The film, based on the book by Drauzio Varella, received the Glauber Rocha award at the 25th International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana, among others, and is on Abraccine’s list of the 100 best Brazilian films of all time.
Goat Marked for Die – DVD
Price: from BRL 63.99 to BRL 42* (34% discount)
Nominated for best documentary at the Havana Film Festival, at the Paris International Ethnographic and Sociological Film Festival — and also awarded in Berlin — the film shows the struggle of peasants for land and the persecution suffered by rural leaders by landowners during the dictatorship. Production directed by Eduardo Coutinho was interrupted by the military regime and resumed almost 20 years later, during the 1980s.
Earth in Trance – DVD
Price: BRL 64.90*
In a restored version and with more than two hours of extras, the DVD features one of the acclaimed features by director Glauber Rocha, exponent of Cinema Novo. The film won, for example, the International Critics Prize at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival and exposes the dispute for political power in Eldorado, located in South America and ruled by a despot who hates his people.
City of God – Blu-ray
Price: BRL 47.90*
Widely resonated and awarded, the feature brings a portrait of life in the Cidade de Deus favela through the lens and eyes of the young Buscapé. Winner of several awards, notably: best edition at the BAFTA Awards, best film at the Uruguay and Guadalajara festivals, director at the Marrakech festival. It received Oscar nominations in four categories.
Pixote – DVD
Price: BRL 40.15
The reality of children living on the streets of São Paulo personified in the protagonist Pixote is one of the great successes of director Héctor Babenco, released in 1980 and based on the novel “Infância dos Mortos”, by writer José Louzeiro. Among other honors, it won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for best foreign film in 1982.
Bacurau – Blu-ray
Price: BRL 59.90*
The film tells the story of a small country village called Bacurau, threatened by invaders after disappearing from the internet maps, mixing genres such as adventure, science fiction and suspense. Directed by Kleber Mendonça, it won the Cannes Film Festival’s jury prize and became one of the best-grossing recent national productions outside the country.
The Cangaceiro – DVD
Price: BRL 370*
Screened in more than 80 countries, “O Cangaceiro” was one of the first national films to receive titles outside Brazil, including the award for best adventure film and best soundtrack at the Cannes Festival. Inspired by the figure of Lampião and with the outlaw Teodoro as the protagonist, the famous feature directed by Lima Barreto can be revisited in this double DVD.
A tip: do you usually shop online? Subscribing to Amazon Prime can be a good alternative. With a first month of free trial and then for only R$ 14.90, you have free and fast delivery for several purchases anywhere in Brazil.
*Prices and listing were checked on June 16, 2022 to update this story. It may be that they vary over time.
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