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Favela Rising

26 customer reviews

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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Anderson Sa, Jose Junior, Marcio Nunes, Andre Luis Azevedo
  • Directors: Jeff Zimbalist, Matt Mochary
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Magnolia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,120 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Favela Rising" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on January 18, 2007
This subversive little documentary advances an argument that grassroots efforts in poverty-stricken neighborhoods (in this case a slum - favela - in Rio de Janeiro) can dramatically reverse entrenched patterns of social decay, violence, and crime. The two young American filmmakers tell a story of how two young Brazilians began a community rebuilding project by using the making of an energetic and infectious form of music of their own creation, Afro Reggae, as an alternative to the lure of drug dealing and street crime. A blend of hip-hop, drumming, and acrobatics, the music became a source of pride and self-respect for the increasing numbers of young people who performed it, and by their example they became a model of community responsibility and achievement.

The film, in its depiction of slum violence, is harrowing. And the account of its central guiding figure, Anderson Sa, makes of him a man of heroic stature. He is portrayed as living in almost complete fearlessness in his commitment to his vision. And when you think the film has made its point about him, it then surprises you by shifting gears with the introduction of an unexpected crisis, adding a dimension to his character and the nature of his mission that raises him to a near mythic level. The film has been received far and wide as a kind of inspirational gospel on how to carry out a "war on poverty" anywhere in the world.

The DVD has an entertaining music video that captures the energy of Afro Reggae, and there is a making-of documentary that illuminates the film and gives its young filmmakers an opportunity to speak about their intentions, their idealism, and what they feel is the film's message as it finally took shape for them.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Paul Ahn on December 12, 2006
The Shiva Effect. It represents the idea that, out of chaos, new life is created. This documentary is the amazing eye-witness account of that phenomenon and how it replicates itself in those who are touched by it.

In FAVELA RISING, two American filmmakers travel to Brazil to create a documentary about the disparate lifestyles of the haves and the have-nots in Rio. They spend weeks going back and forth between the suburbs and the favelas, filming several different personalities. Then, it happens -- the Shiva Effect. It dramatically changes the life of one of the characters in the documentary, and suddenly the filmmakers are transformed as well. They decide to ditch their originally planned script and follow the Shiva Effect as it unfolds in realtime.

Pick up a copy and be ready to be experience it yourself.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yetanotherguy on May 6, 2007
Verified Purchase
As someone involved in making documentaries, I watch alot of them, though we all love to be creative when we can, if you see something really good, its worth stealing ;-) So I watch alot looking for something to steal. I don't know that I found anything particular here I would steal, but the entire doc was very good product. These guys ended up with a very good documentary (I wish it had attained a renown, but I hope they did well with it).. Their success is a tribute both to their good luck in finding the guy to base it around, his life circumstances that occurred during the filming, and very competent editing and film making. I hope for their luck.. its a good documentary that any maker could be proud of. Congrats all.

I'm still tossed up rather I like the effects they used on the video over the documentary, but I give them credit for trying something different. It seemed kind of cool at sometimes, maybe a bit annoying at others, but either way it didn't disturb the flow of the doc in a negative way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bryan A. Pfleeger VINE VOICE on February 21, 2008
The Shiva Effect is the creation of order out of chaos. First chaos strikes then order arises out of the ashes. Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary's Favela Rising dramatically illustrates this point.

The documentary focuses on the life of Anderson Sa. Sa was a member of the drug cartel that terrorized Vigario Geral until his brother was killed in a police reprisal for the deaths of four military police officers. Sa turned his life to helping those living in his favela (slum)on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro by creating the movement known as AfroReggae. The music turns around life in the ghetto and makes the band founders heros. The efforts of the band to get youth out of the drug culture is truly remarkable. Now children in the favela would rather join the AfroReggae movement than be drug outlaws. While the documentary can be a little self serving at times it does illustrate a good point: a person with courage to change his world can make a great difference to those around him. The ending of the film tends to deify its central figure a little to much for my tastes but this did not impede my enjoyment of the film.

The film shows how one person with a mission can make his world a better place. Sa often shows disregard for his own life in order to help others. The music is infectious and vibrant and the story strikes a chord. If there were more groups like Afro Reggae for the young to join maybe we would see a downturn in violence in more communities. The film should be shown in schools.

This film is hindered by its rather limited release but is well worth checking out.
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