Using references to Brazilian slums to brand luxury items as Brazilian.

Favelization in Film

To get at the larger issues related to favelization, I first turn to the fictional film City of God (2002) and the documentary Waste Land (2010). I begin a discussion of favelization by discussing music videos, movies and documentaries because these types of cultural production have been most effective in molding, changing or reinforcing perceptions of favela in Brazil and abroad. The overwhelming number of movies released since 1996 about Rio de Janeiro’s slums or the city’s history of crime, combined with their far-reaching international dissemination, means that images of the favela reached a large number of people, most of whom have never entered one. Furthermore, movies provide a context for the exploration of three themes recurrent in favelization: interpretation, transcendence and domination. 

City of God  Drama. 2002. Location of production: Brazil.  Director: Fernando Meirelles (Brazil).

From top left to bottom right: Trailer, poster and still images of City of God, 2002.

Waste Land Documentary. 2010. Location of production: Brazil & UK. Directors: Lucy Walker (UK), Karen Harley and João Jardim (Brazil). 

From top left to bottom right: Trailer, poster and screen shots of Waste Land. Click here to see the auction house Phillips' sale information for Marat (Sebastião) Pictures of Garbage (2008) which was sold for £34,850.

Music Videos Featuring Favelas 

From top to bottom:

1.  Ratamahatta, Brazil/USA, video directed by Fred Stuhr. Music by Sepultura (1996).

2. They Don't Care About Us, USA, directed by Spike Lee. Music by Michael Jackson (1996).

3. Beautiful, USA, directed by Chris Robinson. Music by Snoop Dogg and Pharell (2003).

4. Don’t Lie, USA, produced by A&M Records. Music by Black Eyed Peas (2005).

5. Minha Alma (A Paz Que Eu Não Quero) / My Soul (The Peace I Do Not Want), Brazil, directed by Kátia Lund, Breno Silveira and Paulo Lins. Music by O Rappa (2007).

6. Say Hey (I Love You), USA. Music by Michael Franti & Spearhead (2009).

7. Na Favela / In the Favela, USA/Brazil, produced by Don Blanquito, Rex Kudo, Idan “Proper” Kalai, DJ F2, Carlos Haynes. Music by Don Blanquito (2011).

8. Blue, Brazil/USA, video directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke and Bill Kirstein. Music by Beyoncé (2013).

Favelas in Hip Hop

Real as It Gets by Jay Z (USA), 2009. 

"Uh, close your eyes you can smell

Hovs the audio equivalent of braille

That's why the feel me in the  favelas  in Brazil

And Waterhouse cause real recognize real."


Films Showing Favelas Released Between 1934 and 2012

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