Film Image
Favela Rising
Jeff Zimbalist & Matt Mochary
Brazilian Portugese
English subtitles

Favela Rising

Their music fueled a movement. His message fought a war.

FAVELA RISING documents a man and a movement, a city divided and a favela (Brazilian squatter settlement) united. Haunted by the murders of his family and many of his friends, Anderson Sá is a former drug-trafficker who turns social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro’s most feared slum. Through hip-hop music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression enforced by teenage drug armies and sustained by corrupt police.

At the dawn of liberation, just as collective mobility is overcoming all odds and Anderson’s grassroots Afro Reggae movement is at the height of its success, a tragic accident threatens to silence the movement forever.
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"In this outstandingly edited and vibrantly photographed documentary, Americans Zimbalist and Mochary perfectly capture both the extreme violence of the favela along with the hopeful idealism and enthusiasm of the AfroReggae community. It is a powerful and uplifting statement of individual action and commitment that is deserving of its multiple international awards. Highly recommended." - Linda Frederiksen, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Music and the will of a few good people work to rescue youths from the drug culture of the slums of Rio de Janeiro in this well-told film. FAVELA RISING is an inspiring tale of a place and a person, and it makes us feel, if only for a minute, that there really is hope in the world. Suitable for high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of violence, anthropology of music, anthropology of development/community activism, and Brazilian studies, as well as for general audiences." - Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

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