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Portuguese/Brazilian movies?

Can people recommend me some good movies to watch....I think it's a great tool for helping learn.

I watched "Central Do Brasil" a month or so back...it's a fantastic movie.

September 23, 2013



I'm not familiar with films made in Portugal, but I had a quick look at the UK Amazon site to see which Brazilian films are easily available here. This list is the top fifteen in order of popularity:

City of God (Cidade de Deus) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317248/
Elite Squad (Tropa de Elite) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0861739/
City of Men (Cidade dos Homens) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0870090/
Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053146/
Central Station (Central do Brasil) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140888/
Carandiru (Carandiru) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293007/
Tropicalia (Tropicália) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1497880/
Bus 174 (Ônibus 174) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0340468/
Lower City (Cidade Baixa) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0456899/
So Hard to Forget (Como Esquecer) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1735853/
Linha de Passe (Linha de Passe) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0803029/
Boca (Boca do Lixo) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1827372/
Behind the Sun (Abril Despedaçado) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0291003/
Foreign Land (Terra Estrangeira) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114651/
Xingu (Xingu) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2142055/

These all seem pretty heavy to me, but Brazil does produce light and airy films too. Here are some I've watched and (secretly) enjoyed:

O Homem que Copiava http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367859/
Cristina Quer Casar http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0356490/
Bossa Nova http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180837/
Se Eu Fosse Você http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448927/
A Grande Família: O Filme http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0990366/

There is a long list of film suggestions here: http://eyesonbrazil.wordpress.com/brazilian-films-the-list/.


Oh, +1 for "Black Orpheus"! That movie is so beautiful--it's a retelling of the Orpheus legend set during Carnaval. "O Homem que Copiava" is great, too.


Estômago! (stomach) A mulher invisível (the invisible woman)


Thank you Sir, some great sounding films there....I've learned new lingo just reading the list: Copiava: copies (photocopies?) Fosse: was ? Casar: get married?


I'm glad you like the list. The problem with suggestions for the best foreign films is that they often leave you frustrated because it is difficult to buy them easily in this country. My list may not include the best films (though some are, surely), but at least they are all available here and don't cost too much.

Yes, one film is about a photocopier operator, and "copiava" can be translated as "copied" or "used to copy". The best translation of "fosse" is "were", in fact the title of the movie is the subjunctive in both Portuguese and English: "If I were you". And "casar" means to "to marry".


Just watched TROPICALIA and discovered a whole new world of amazing music....jeez, how did I miss Os Mutantes for 40 years??


....and another amazing thing is being able to read all the Portuguese comments about them on youtube....and understand them!....well, kinda understand them!


Astral City - Nosso Lar

A Suprema Felicidade - The Supreme Happiness

Chega de Saudade - The Ballroom

De Pernas Pro Ar (1 e 2)

A Concepção

Minha Mãe É Uma Peça

Fabricando Tom Zé (doc)

Garrincha Estrela Solitária

Durval Discos

Muito Gelo e Dois Dedos D'Água

Tapete Vermelho

O Auto da Compadecida

A Partilha

Doce de Mãe

2 Coelhos

A Máquina

Lisbela e o Prisoneiro

Anjos do Sol

O Redentor

Ó Pai Ó

short films from "A Vida Como Ela É" series, by Nelson Rodrigues (ex: Traição)


Thank you, that list will keep me busy.

Could you maybe pick one or two of the and say what they are about and why you like them?


Astral City is a very important story written by a real ghost trough a man called Chico Xavier, this guy was elected the best brazilian of all times and "wrote" more than 400 books and 10 thousand letters from the spirits. He becames a great spiritual leader, but never accepted any money to himself. So Astral City is about what a doctor saw after his death, with many lessons about the meaning of life.

Tapete Vermelho is about a yokel huge fan of Mazzaropi - a famous film maker who made a lot of movies between 50's and 70's years. It is a big critic about how we lost our big references for hollywood and the story is full of regional brazilian culture (folclore), funny text and great actors. tip: If you like this one, you'll surely love all Mazzaropi films, although they're pretty old, they're also very easy to find and very well done.

De Pernas Pro Ar and Minha Mãe É Uma Peça are comedy movies with the best brazilian comedians of the moment. The first is about a woman who sells sex-products and the second one is about a tipical brazilian mother (and family).

Durval Discos is awesome! I saw some weeks ago and I couldn't believe I spent the last 10 years without watched this one. It happens during the lovely 90's years and it's about a guy who still sells vinyl discs while everybody is buying cd's. Suddenly the story become very hitchcock + almodovar! You'll be very impressed for sure.

A Concepção is about breaking the system. It happens in Brazil's capital (Brasília) and it's about pissed young people living on drugs, parties and different identities.

2 Coelhos has a similar theme and it's about an awesome revenge. Crazy people, guns, mad plans and a lot of action.

Fabricando Tom Zé is about one of the best musician of all times. Not only in Brazil, but in the whole world. The thing is this guy is misunderstood and had a hard story. A lot of people treat this genius like a mad man, until nowadays! His music is the best ever! If you like Mutantes and Tropicália, you'll love Tom Zé's musics.

A Máquina is about time travel. Very cool because it happens at north east reagions, so it's full of regional culture and popular songs.

A Vida Como Ela É are stories written by Nelson Rodrigues, our Almodovar of books! This writter is awesome and show us how life is miserable and how people are sad and full of sins. AWESOME FOREVER! You should try to read one of his short tales and books as well!

O Auto da Compadecida is a huge sucess. First it was a book inspired by Gil Vicente's story called O Auto da Barca do Inferno (Gil Vicente is a portuguese writer from 15th century). Then it became a TV show, the sucess was so great that they edit it to transform into a movie. It's about God and Devil in northeast regions deciding who is going to the hell and who will go to the paradise.

Garrinha Estrela Solitária is about a famous soccer player from old times... It also shows a bit of Elza Soares story, a famous singer as good as Ella Fitzgerald. Garrincha died very young, but Elza is still alive, making a lot of sucess and was elected "the voice of the milenium" by BBC.

Anjos do Sol is about girls traffic for prostitution. Is a very shocking movie, very well done, but it's not the thing you watch with kids or weak people. It happens at Amazon regions and it shows the reality of many girls who don't have any choice, so sad..

O Redentor is about house crashing, jail and God. It happens in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília.

Doce de Mãe is our first TV movie, so they did a great job to impress everybody. It was released last christmas (we don't have this culture of movies for television). Fernanda Montenegro is the sweetest mother ever and her family is worried because she will be living lonely at her house, but she really wants it and will make everything to prove she can do it. Brilliant!

Ó Pai Ó is so cool that became a tv show after the movie sucess. It happens in Pelourinho (historic neighbourhood of Bahia) and is a very funny comedy about different people living in the same building. The best comedy ever!

I really enjoy brazilian movies, if it has Matheus Nachtergaele or Fernanda Montenegro, you'll love for sure, these actors only accepts good stories. Feel free to ask for more whenever u want!


:-) Thank you very much, that is brilliant (and must have taken you a while!). Some great movies there....I will be busy.


Wow! I am really excited at watching some of these movies after you described them. Fantastic!! For somebody like myself, just looking around for ways to improve my Portuguese and awareness of Brazilian culture, this is amazing and STILL relevant 2 YEARS after you wrote it. Thank you so much.


"Cidade de Deus"/"City of God" is great, but very violent.

"Tropicália" is a fantastic documentary about Brazilian music in the 60s, with interviews with Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1497880/

"Pirinop, My first Contact"/"Prinop, Meu primeiro contato" is another documentary, about the first contact between white Brazilians and a native tribe in the Amazon. It's mostly in the tribe's language, but it's still worth watching for the insights into Brazilian society. http://youtu.be/dU6k_YQloOQ

"Neighbouring Sounds"/"O Som ao Redor" I haven't seen it, but apparently it's up for an Oscar next year.


Brilliant....those sound ace....I had forgotten about "City Of God"


Paulo Coelho....has any movies been made from his books or are there any docu's/interviews that you could recommend?


If Coelho the man interests you then you should probably subscribe to his own YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/paulocoelhoTV.


I don't know, but if you find any, post them here! I haven't read any of his books yet, but I really want to. :)


Paulo Coelho has 10 writer credits on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0168723/ but it seems only one resulted in a mainstream film.


The user TIAGO pointed me to the ace book POLYGLOT by Kato Lomb, really good read, and she said that reading ficton in the language you are learning was a great help.....So I eventually found some Paulho C' books and they are brilliant to translate...and fun!

It's kinda tricky to buy Portuguese books online...Amazon kept insisting that I wanted the English versions...grrrr!


The Red Light Bandit (O Bandido da Luz Vermelha) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144782/ noir classic brazilian detective


Thanks...that looks cool.


There are two really good ones tht just came out recently as well, one is just a silly comedy called "Vendo ou Alugo" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2956394/) and the other one actually has quite a bit of English mixed into it, it's called "Flores Raras" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2217458/)


Commemorating the World Cup in Brazil, the SBS channel in Australia is streaming a selection of 31 Brazilian movies in portuguese. I recommend you guys taking a look at the list. Very good movies! :) http://www.sbs.com.au/movies/31nightsinbrazil/video/240124995579


Regarding Portuguese movies, "A gaiola dourada" was released this summer and it was a big hit.




"A gaiola Dourada" is already a big hit, the thing is that although it is a portuguese movie, is mostly spoken in french because the story it's about a portuguese family that lives in france.

Here you have a couple of portugues movies:

Zona J

Call Girl

Amo-te, Teresa

O Bairro


O Crime do Padre Amaro

and you have a lot more in the link below:


Cheers!! ;)


Hey! Try to visit this page with a list of Brazilian movies: http://www.todomundopod.com/en/brazilian-movies/

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