Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
This rousing celebration of choro, Brazil’s ‘original urban music’, is the year’s feel-good music documentary. Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki, brother of the famously deadpan Aki, traces choro’s development from a 19th-century collision of European waltzes and polkas, African rhythms, and the sounds of indigenous South American tribes. Choro fell out of fashion in the 70s and 80s, but it's back with a vengeance now as star players groove to its particular interplay of rigid structure and improvisation. We meet the incredible musicians, young and old, who draw from the well of tradition and conjure forth new hybrids today.
“Featuring copious footage of top-level artists performing with bravura intensity, interspersed with sketchy history lessons and interviews, Brasileirinho represents toe-tapping, hip-swaying stuff for world-music fans… Brasileirinho simply introduces major choro players on the scene in their natural environment, some of their students at a ‘choro school,’ and watches them get on with it… Sound by Uwe Dresch is as crisp as melba toast.” — Leslie Felperin, Variety