Favela Rising (2005)
dir. Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalist
starring: Anderson Sa
Favela Rising, directed by Americans Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary, which was short-listed for this yearŐs Oscar for Best Documentary, provides stark insights into the lives of the inhabitants of BrazilŐs favelas (impoverished barrios of the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro). Following on the successes of the narrative feature film City of God, and the award-winning documentary, Bus 174, Favela Rising introduces us to the unforgettable story of Anderson Sa, a former drug dealer, turned musician and art-inspired revolutionary. His organization, Grupo Cultural AfroReggae, uses music, drumming, and dance to rally against the violence and crime that barrio youths face every day. The challenges and turns of fate that Sa overcomes are of epic proportions. His victory over personal and social despair reflects hope in a seemingly desperate situation.