Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

11 Brazilian Films To Watch Before Rio 2016

  1. Begin
    Photo: Everett.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    You know about the beaches, the caipirinhas, and the supermodels. But guess what? There's way more to Brazil than Gisele and skimpy swimsuits.

    All eyes will be on the South American country as the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio de Janeiro this weekend. Beyond the fears about Zika and pollution, it's Brazil's time to shine. With the Opening Ceremony slated for Friday night, we thought we'd help shed a little more light.

    If a flight to Rio isn't in your immediate future, a movie night may be able to help fill in some of the blanks. Brazilian cinema has produced several award-winning contributions, with subject matters ranging from life in the favelas to political oppression to that old standard: first love. There's a real depth, not to mention performances that have fetched Oscars.

    Intrigued? Crack open the cachaça and settle in for some cinematic delights.

    Begin Slideshow
  2. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NMbUEsUtW5k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Video: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 11

    Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) (1959)
    This Oscar-winning classic is famed for its bossa nova soundtrack, but its love story inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has also stood the test of time.

  3. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dcUOO4Itgmw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Video: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 11

    City of God (Cidade de Deus) (2002)
    This Oscar-nominated crime drama gave international audiences a searing look at life in Rio's favelas, where many of the actors actually lived. The film also spawned a spinoff TV show and second film, both titled City of Men.

  4. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0ardyebDVYw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Video: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 11

    The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) (2014)
    The arrival of a new male student gives blind teen Leonardo pause as he questions his sexuality and romantic possibilities in this coming-of-age drama.

  5. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1FVd6uRrYhM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Video: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 11

    Kiss of the Spider Woman (O Beijo da Mulher-Aranha) (1985)
    William Hurt won an Oscar for his portrayal of Luis Molina, a man imprisoned for homosexual acts. The late Raúl Juliá co-stars as the leftist cellmate who slowly develops a friendship and romantic relationship with Molina as political and bureaucratic entanglements threaten their existence.

  6. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/algdilTBfRs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Video: Courtesy of The Criterion Collection.

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 11

    The House of Sand (Casa de Areia) (2005)
    Real-life mother and daughter Fernanda Montenegro and Fernanda Torres play two women stranded in the Brazilian desert during the early 20th century. The story intertwines with scientific phenomena, war, and a dystopian-like emptiness as time passes with no escape in sight.