6 Underrated Brazilian Movies You Have To Check It Out

Brazil has always been at international film awards. A country that has productions likes "Cidade de Deus", "Tropa de Elite", "Que Horas Ela Volta?" and "Bacurau" must be recognized. But, even actual Brazilians sometimes don’t know everything that is out there. So, in an attempt to diversify your notion of Brazilian cinema, here's a selection of movies of different genres:

  1. 1. Meu Nome Não É Johnny (2008)

    This movie stars Selton Mello and Cleo Pires, some of the biggest talents of brazilian cinema. The story follows João, a boy who grew up rich and attending the best schools in Rio de Janeiro. During his teen years, around the 80s and 90s, João gets involved with drugs, and soon becomes the biggest drug dealer in all of Rio. He then gets arrested, and the story delves into the experience of living in a prison in Brazil. The film has a comedic side, and also shows another point of view of drug trafficking and the impact drugs have on a young boy’s life. 

    Meu Nome Não É Johnny is available on Youtube Movies and Google Play.

  2. 2. O Lobo Atrás da Porta (2014)

    Bernardo (Milhem Cortaz) and his wife Sylvia (Fabiula Nascimento) are having marital issues. They find themselves being interrogated at a police station along with Rosa (Leandra Leal), Bernardo’s lover. They are questioned about life, love, obsession and lies and all of that leads to a big twist at the end. It’s an alliance of comedy and drama and turns out to be almost like a horror fable. This is a film where sound, framing and scene all work together perfectly, that gives the theme and aesthetic a one of a kind coherence.

    O Lobo Atrás da Porta is available on Youtube Movies and Google Play.

  3. 3. Boi Neon (2015)

    This is the story of Iremar (Juliano Cazarré), who works at a Rodeo and prepares the cattle before they enter the arena. He is also a truck driver and carries the cattle across the country, with his coworkers and together, they form a sort of family. While traveling through such a diverse country, Iremar comes across the new clothes confection center forming in Brazil’s Northeast. He then begins to dream of working in fashion and pursuing his true passion. This movie takes you into the day to day of these people, shows you what the culture in Pernambuco feels like, with an artistic tone that will keep you interested until the end.

  4. 4. Estou Me Guardando Para Quando o Carnaval Chegar (2019)

    In an attempt to mix it up: a documentary. This is the story of, actually, a small town called Toritama, at the very Northeast of Brazil. This town produces around 20 million pairs of jeans annually in home factories. Almost every single citizen in this town works making jeans. They are all proud to be their own bosses, and work all day and all year long, except on Carnaval, one of the biggest celebrations in Brazil. On this week, they all pack up their bags, sell whatever they can, spend all the money they earned that year to rest and have fun at a beach nearby. This film is a raw and individualized story of the workmen in Brazil, and the notion a lot of people share that all the hard work will be worth it if and when you reach Carnaval.

    Estou Me Guardando Para Quando o Carnaval Chegar is available on Netflix, Youtube Movies and Google Play.

  5. 5. O Som ao Redor (2012)

    Before Bacurau (2019) and Aquarius (2016), there was O som ao redor. Kleber Mendonça Filho has always had a way of making his characters feel personal, and that isn’t different with this film. In a time of a lot of violence in Recife, one of the streets in the suburbs makes the decision to hire a security company to install equipment to keep the homeowners safe. Mendonça Filho creates a beautiful portrait of Brazil’s middle class and the routines inside each house. This isn’t a story about great crimes and violence, but about how we’re slowly becoming more distant, with fewer people on the streets and higher walls, security cameras and alarms everywhere.

    O Som ao Redor is available on Netflix.

  6. 6. Divino Amor (2019)

    This film brings a discussion about religion and politics, and follows Joana (Dira Paes) e Danilo (Júlio Machado) who live a perfect evangelical married life, but still long for a child. It’s a different experiment for brazilian cinema, a dystopia. It’s not a distant scenario though, it’s just eight years away. Brazil has become an evangelical republic where technology has advanced to tell if a person is wed or single in a simple scan. Paternity tests are instantaneous to avoid illegitimate children, houses are identical and people hide behind flowers and smiles, with fear they won’t fit into the spiritual standards of this society. The thing is, it’s futuristic but it’s also totally imaginable and real, which makes it even more scary.

    Divino Amor is available on Youtube Movies and Google Play.


This article was edited by Amanda Oestreich.

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