Brazil is a country that is forever grappling with its past and struggling to make something of the present. The scars of periods of intense ugliness are hard to ignore today. But it also has one of the most vital artistic and filmmaking scenes in the world, a unique spirit worth celebrating.


Our selection of films from the country all look to the past as something different: as an occasion for contemplating steps forward, ways to adjust to a painful past and a present perpetually marked by it, how to approach figures from our own family histories and bring them fully-formed to the present. This is cinema as confessional. Portraits of individuals whose presence we really feel. That they hold a significance both for the filmmaker and, in watching the films, for us too is a testament to the power of these cinematic visits from persons of the past.

Even within this, the films we present as part of this special focus on the country cover an entire spectrum of Brazilian remembrances and lived experiences. Politics. Sex. Favelas. The dictatorship. Music. Life today in the city. Family members like spirits conjured from the archive. The richness and multi-faceted complexity of this vibrant, bustling nation is reflected even in this mere handful of its films.

For a taste of the place and its cinema, look no further.

Selected Films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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