A man emerges from the slums of Rio to lead the nonviolent cultural movement known as Afro-reggae.

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Credited cast:
Andre Luis Azevedo ...
Jose Junior ...
Michele Moraes ...
Anderson Sa ...
Zuenir Ventura ...


A man emerges from the slums of Rio to lead the nonviolent cultural movement known as Afro-reggae.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their music fueled a movement. His message fought a war.




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Release Date:

10 March 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Afro Reggae  »

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Did You Know?


The uncredited musician who appears teaching Anderson and the other AfroReggae members how to play percussion instruments, and who is responsible for conceiving the very basis of the AfroReggae band sound is Marcos Suzano. See more »


Referenced in 30 for 30: The Two Escobars (2010) See more »


Mama África
Written by Chico César
Performed by Chico César
See more »

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User Reviews

What A Movement Can Do!
21 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I actually found out about Favela Rising via the IMDb website. I have a particular interest in Afro-Brazilian culture and films. Favela Rising is one of those gems that gives a new meaning to human transformation. Beautifully documented and filmed by Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary its the story Anderson Sa, a former Rio De Janeiro drug trafficker who after the deaths of family members and friends becomes a Christ-like, Malcolm X, and Ghandi all rolled into one. Sa formed AfroReggae, a grassroots cultural movement that uses Afro-Brazilian hiphop, capoeira(Afro-Brazilian Martial Arts)drumming, and other artforms to transform the hopeless and most times angry youth into vibrant, viable, caring community loving individuals.

A few years ago I remember going to a screening of City Of God (Cidade De Deus) and walked out of the theatre completely numb. The images were grim yet stunning and you couldn't take your eyes off the screen. I remember how hopeless some situations were in the Favelas and how decadent the society was due to the governments neglect. How drug trafficking was a way of life, how indifferent the citizens of the slums were because death was an every day occurrence. Like City Of God Anderson Sa talks about how the people of the favelas were also desensitized. He talks about the police corruption, and how the communities were so immobilized by drugs and gangs that you couldn't visit family members in other Favelas you had to meet in a neutral location. Unlike City of God Anderson Sa's grassroots movement AfroReggae provides solutions to the anger, the hopelessness.

There was one part in the documentary where Anderson, in the spirit of a preacher approached some youth and asked them to join AfroReggae. These jaded youth were so scarred by everyday survival and violence. Their role models were drug dealers and this is what they aspired to be. Anderson told then that drug dealers don't live very long. There was reluctance of course but five months later he was able to get some of the youth to join AfroReggae.

The visuals in Favela Rising are beyond amazing. Its clear to me that Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary are not only great story tellers but visual artist as well. This is a must see documentary! There are some really magical and transforming moments in this documentary. I don't want to spoil them for you. I want you see it for yourself. Please tell your friends, academics, youth counselors, family members about this wonderful film. It will make you care about the world and our children.

I would give it eleven stars!

19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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