Black Orpheus (Portuguese: Orfeu Negro)
Brazil/France/Italy/1959directed by Marcel Camus

The re-enactment of the classical Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in the modern context of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.


Bye Bye Brazil  (Portuguese:  Bye Bye Brasil)
France/Brazil/Argentina/1979 directed by Carlos Diegues

Humorous tale of a traveling circus that visits small communities throughout the Northeast of Brazil with amusing escapades.


Central Station  (“Portuguese: Central do Brasil)
Brazil/France/1998 – directed by Walter Sales

Compelling story of the journey of a former schoolteacher who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy who travel to the Northeast in search of the father the boy never knew.


Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (Portuguese: Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos)
Brazil/1976 – directed by Bruno Barreto

Comedy based on Jorge Amado’s novel by the same name, the film follows the hilarious and surprising escapades of Dona Flor as she negotiates uneasy peace with two very different husbands in 1940s Bahia, Brazil.


A Dog’s Will  (Portuguese:  O Auto da Compadecida)
Brazil/2000—directed by Guel Arraes

Comedy about the escapades of the cowardly João Grilo and the sly Chicó. poor guys of the hinterland, who make their slim livelihood by fooling and cheating people in a small Northeast Brazil town.


Me You Them  (Portuguese:  Eu Tu Eles)
Brazil/2000– directed by Andrucha Waddington

A true story that comically portrays the relationship between an ordinary woman and her three husbands, all of whom live in the same house in a poor and arid village in the Brazilian Northeast.


Moro No Brasil.
Brazil/Finland/Germany/2002 – directed by Mika Kaurismäki

Documentary film that explores of traditional musical performances and public festivals in Brazil with more than 50 street performances, many from rural areas and urban centers of the Northeast. Note:  Copies of this film are available for purchase from Con/Vida – Popular Arts of the Americas.


Payer of Promises  (O Pagador de Promessas)
Brazil/1962 – directed by Anselmo Duarte

Drama that explores the complex intersection of Christianity and the African Brazilian religion of Candomblé in Northeast Brazil, as experienced by a landowner who seeks and receives a miracle that saves the life of his donkey.


War of Canudos (Portuguese:  Guerra dos Canudos)
Brazil/1997 — directed by Sérgio Rezende

Big-budget epic drama marking the 100th anniversary of the Brazilian Army’s destruction of the town of Canudos in Brazil’s Northeast; the film focuses on the experiences of a poor family drawn inexorably into the bloodiest war in the history of Brazil, the War of Canudos.


Orfeu (Portuguese:  Orfeu)
Brazil/1999directed by Carlos Diegues

A retelling of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in the modern context of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, considered to be an updated, grittier remake of the 1959 film Black Orpheus.


Quilombo (Portuguese:  Quilombo)
Brazil/1984 – directed by Carlos Diegues

A dramatization of the history of Palmares, the famous 17th-century fugitive slave community that lasted nearly a century and grew to a population of more than 11,000 before falling in defeat to Portuguese military forces in 1694; emphasis in this film is on the celebrated last leader of Palmares, Zumbi, today a hero of Black consciousness and resistance in Brazil. 



Black in Latin America.  USA / PBS, four-part series, 2011.  Directed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

An overview of African culture in South and Central America and the Caribbean, with one segment entitled “Brazil: A Racial Paradise” focusing on issues of race and racial consciousness in contemporary Brazil.


Brazil: An Inconvenient History.  Seven Arts Productions, Brighton, England, 2008.  Produced by Phil Grabsky.

This informative video explores the tension between the “inconvenient history” of slavery in Brazil and its current self-image as a post-racial democracy.


The African Americans:  Many Rivers to Cross.  USA / PBS, four-part series, 2013.  With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

A chronicle of the history of the African people and their struggles for freedom and equality in the United States from the arrival of the first black conquistador, Juan Garrido, in Florida in 1513, through President Barack Obama serving his second term as President.