Archive of films Samba / Samba

2001, 54 min

Section: New Brazilian Documentary
Year: 2002

For many inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, the samba is an indivisible element of their lives that helps them overcome everyday worries and woes. The film deals with the confrontation between traditional and “new” samba, showing children dancing from an extremely early age and capturing masterly performances by the oldest inhabitants of Rio.


The samba is an integral part of life for the inhabitants of Mangueira in Rio de Janeiro. Children learn the dance from an early age at home and in school. The best and most persevering of them become professional dancers. The samba helps overcome everyday worries and, for many Rio inhabitants, it’s a way of life. This engaging documentary film captures only fragments of the carnival samba performed for foreign tourists, and focuses chiefly on the spontaneous dance of ordinary Brazilians. It also confronts the traditional and so-called “new” samba. The film proves that brilliant dance moves are no problem even for the oldest members of the Rio community.

About the director

Thereza Jessouroun was introduced to documentary direction by Eduardo Coutinho. During the last ten years she worked on Brazilian series and documentaries for foreign TV companies (BBC, ZDF, Channel 4, Discovery, National Geographic). Her first documentary film The Soul of Woman from 1998 describes the life of transvestites in Rio de Janeiro and was awarded at many international festivals.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: New Brazilian Documentary
Director: Thereza Jessouroun
Screenplay: Thereza Jessouroun
Dir. of Photography: Reinaldo Zangrandi, Dib Lufti, Gustavo Habda
Music: Carlinhos Vergueiro, Elton Medeiros, Cacau D?Ávila
Editor: Diana Vasconcelos
Producer: Thereza Jessouroun
Production: Kino Filmes

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