Songs

As Canções

“You can destroy all the literature and poems in Brazil no problem – as long as you safeguard the songs.” Eduardo Coutinho


Year: 2011
Country: Brazil
Running time: 92 mins
Genres: Music

Producers: João Moreira Salles, Mauricio Andrade Ramos, Carolina Benevides
Photography: Jacques Cheuiche
Editor: Jordana Berg

With: Dea, Gilmar, Esmeralda, Jose Barbosa, Sonia, Nilton, Isabell, Zio, Jose, Lidia, Fatima, Ramon, Maria de Fatima, Maria Aparecida

Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2011

In Portuguese with English subtitles

A rich array of Cariocas (inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro), men and women of all ages and ethnicities, accept an invitation from veteran documentarian Eduardo Coutinho to tell us about their favourite song – then sing it themselves, a cappella. One by one they take a seat on an empty stage to face his camera and his questions. Maybe the song played a crucial role in a crucial relationship, or it’s one forever associated with a parent or a remembered moment of intense happiness. The candour Coutinho draws from his subjects is inspiring, and even when the memories seem as perfectly formed as the songs themsevles, there’s little doubt that we are seeing hearts bravely laid bare. — BG. “Lyrical… Popping up throughout are recurring themes of love, loss and desire, all complex emotions that are also the subjects of many tunes. The brilliance of Coutinho’s conceit is that he sets out to demonstrate that people often turn to song when words can't express how they feel, but he shows this by letting people talk about the emotions that inspired their song of choice.” — Boyd van Hoeij, Variety