4 March 2011 | claudio_carvalho
Five Tales in Slums of Rio de Janeiro in 1962
"Cinco Vezes Favela" is a film composed by five segments directed by five directors disclosing social problems in the slums of Rio de Janeiro in 1962. This film is one of the most important in the Brazilian New Cinema ("Cinema Novo"). However, it aged and presently is completely dated since the reality of Brazilian slums is absolutely different.
(1) O Favelado ("The Slum Dweller")
The unemployed João (Flávio Migliaccio) does not have any money to pay the rent of his shanty. He tries to borrow from his friends, otherwise his family and he will be evicted, but they are also broken. He seeks out the smalltime criminal Pernambuco that invite him to heist a bus. However, João is betrayed by Pernambuco, chased by the people on the streets and arrested by the police.
"O Favelado" is one of the best segments with a heartbreaking story. This pessimist and hopeless segment is directed by Marcos Farias. The poor João stays between the rock and a hard place and his choice does not resolve the situation of his family but instead, makes his life worse.
(2) Zé da Cachorra ("Zé of the Bitch")
The landowner of a slum evicts the family of the newcomer slum dweller Raimundo. The leader of the Slum, Zé da Cachorra, protests but the conformist family prefers to leave the slum.
"Zé da Cachorra" is directed by Miguel Borges and shows a fight of classes where the lower class is conformist, accepting the situation without fight.
(3) Couro de Gato ("Pelt of Cat")
In a time when cats where skinned and their pelts where used to manufacture tambourines and other instruments of samba schools, three boys rob cats from their owner. Two cats are rescued but the third one is brought to the slum by one boy that sells the animal to a man.
"Couro de Gato" is directed by Joaquim Pedro de Andrade and is the best segment. The dilemma of the boy, between the friendship of the cat and the money he needs to survive is awesome.
(4) Escola de Samba – Alegria de Viver ("Samba School – Happiness to Live")
A group of directors of a samba school decide to elect a new president. However, the carnival parade does not work as planned.
This confused segment is directed by Carlos Diegues and is the weaker. It is not clear the problem with the money collected by the samba school or the situation of the wife of the new president of the samba school.
(5) Pedreira de São Diogo ("Stone Quarry São Diogo")
When the foreman of a quarry orders to use 500 kg of dynamite to blow up the stones, the workers secretly alert the dwellers of a slum on the top of the stone quarry.
"Pedreira de São Diogo" is a segment directed by Leon Hirszman is the only story that clearly shows the capacity of the lower classes to resist and change their destiny together.
My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Cinco Vezes Favela" ("Five Times Slum")