Brazilian Cinema Rebirth

Starting in 1995, after a long period of stagnation, Brazilian Cinema experienced a “Retomada” or rebirth. Since then, numerous Brazilian films have received global accolades, including several Oscar nominations and awards.

Most people abroad are only familiar with Brazilian films exploring urban chaos and violence. However, the new wave of Brazilian cinema often explores the traumas of Military Dictatorship (1964-1985), poverty and inequality, the sertão (the hinterland), and human sexuality. Brazilian cinema is a great way to take an inside look at Brazilian culture.

Brazilian Cinema Rebirth Details


Excerpt from

Brazil has a long tradition in moviemaking: the art was introduced to the country in the early twentieth century, and during the first decades emerged local cycles in key states. From the 1940’s, Brazilian cinema gained strength, and established itself as a source of popular entertainment; during the 1960’s onward, the Cinema Novo craved to create a new Brazilian culture.

However, from the 1980’s onwards, the Brazilian cinema was becoming increasingly dependent on government funding, and on the early 1990’s, when the economic crisis hit the country, the official funding for the film practically ceased to exist. During those years, no feature film was produced in the country[...]

In 1995, Carlota Joaquina – Princess of Brazil’s release meant the rebirth of Brazilian cinema: it was the Retomada (Resumption) which inaugurated the New Brazilian Cinema. This new Brazilian cinema continues with several traditional themes: the sertão (the hinterland), poverty; on the other hand, new subjects emerge: the analysis of the traumas of Military Dictatorship (1964-1985), urban chaos, human sexuality.

Currently there is a tension in film production: films produced by Rede Globo (Brazil’s largest media conglomerate) with ample resources, famous actors and immense propaganda, are blockbusters but are generally considered low artistic quality; on the other hand, alternative filmmakers who produce small films are in need of distribution and visibility.

Read full article here.

If you speak Portuguese, this is also an excellent overview of Brazilian cinema

Movie Trailers

This is just a small sample of trailers of movies produced in Brazil over the last couple of decades. For a more complete list, we highly recommend reading the article "25 Essential Films For An Introduction To New Brazilian Cinema".

Flores Raras - Reaching for the Moon
Cidade de Deus - City of God
Estação Central - Central Station

Tropa de Elite - Elite Squad

Orfeu Negro - Black Orpheus

Abril Despedaçado - Behind the Sun

Onibus 174 - Bus 174


The Year my Parents went on Vacation

Carlota Joaquina

Praia do Futuro

Que Horas Ela Volta? - The Second Mother

Related Jonts

Brazilian Music
Samba and bossa nova are just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the the music videos below, as well as our Spotify playlist for a taste of Brazil's rich musical scene. Details.