Last night, the final night of the film festival, Mel and I went to see Favela Rising. Since the only other film I’ve seen about the favelas (slums) in Rio is City of God, this documentary reminded me of the earlier film in parts. Favela tells the story of Anderson Sa and how he came to join the group Afro-Reggae. The film isn’t very linear, covering different aspects of life in the favelas, Anderson’s personal journey, and the history of AfroReggae. We forgave the film it’s lack of form, because it is just so damn beautiful. It has some gorgeous cinematography and does some experimentation in graphics that I haven’t seen in a documentary before.
The film also has some great music. I recognized “Mama Africa” from my Putumayo CD, so that was neat. There is some original music in the film from AfroReggae, but I thought there should have been more.
It makes me so sad to think that people are living in such a situation. There is a staggering figure shown at the beginning of the film that I can’t remember, but it said that in a certain period of time while hundreds of minors died in the Israel-Palestine conflict, THOUSANDS of minors were killed in the favelas.
The film is very hopeful, though. I think it is the best film I saw at the festival this year, with Winter Passing a near second.