Director: Rose La Creta
The vibrant drumbeat of Rio’s slums and “capoeira” schools is captured in this revealing portrait of lively Leopoldina, a spiffy character well past his 70s who philosophizes his life and delivers street smart sagacity as he glad-hands his wide-ranging pals in visits across Rio’s teeming favela communities, while sparring with them also at “capoeira” contests.
The growing popularity of this fluid Afro-Brazilian dance style,created more than 500 years ago by enslaved Africans, and counting growing thousands of converts in the hemisphere, makes the film a rich anthropological treat.( “Capoeira” participants form a circle taking turns doing acrobatic turns,feints, kicks and even headbutts in a blend of martial arts and show-off dance games. ) In the process, Leopoldina (the director calls him “the fine rose of street wisdom”), a onetime longshoreman, also travels to Portuguese Africa to compare lifestyles with his New World slavery traditions and its complex mysticism.
DIRECTOR: ROSE LA CRETA, BRAZIL, 2006, 52 MIN
(In Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles)