RIO BREAKS is more than just a film about surfing. It follows the story of two best friends, Fabio and Naama, as they navigate their way between the pitfalls of life in the slums and the ...
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RIO BREAKS is more than just a film about surfing. It follows the story of two best friends, Fabio and Naama, as they navigate their way between the pitfalls of life in the slums and the joys of surfing on their favorite beach. Their goal: to win the contest and become professional surfers. Thirteen-year-old Fabio and 12-year-old Naama live at Favela do Pavao, an enormous slum near Arpoador Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pavao is home to Commando Vermelho (CV), or Red Command, one of Rio's most heavily armed drug gangs. It's the Red Command who sets the rules and regulates life in the community. Their presence is ubiquitous, with armed soldiers constantly patrolling the hills and regulating the various points of sale. Fabio lives in an area of the favela called Vietnam, the poorest and most violent part of the slum. When the police come up looking for traffickers, that's where they look - and shoot - first. Raised by illiterate grandparents, he cannot read or write and is not going... Written by
Justin Mitchell & Vince Medeiros
Interesting without being entirely gripping. This documentary follows two favela dwelling kids who take to the beautiful beaches of Rio to escape the harsh realities of the slums they live in.
Depressing but with glimmers of optimism, the favelas are always a place for intriguing stories with characters ranging from drug dealers to ordinary children caught up in the violence and struggles of everyday life.
Rio Breaks tells the story of two kids who choose to surf as opposed to earning money working for the slum lords who deal drugs in their favelas. As engaging as the kids' stories, are the other characters, particularly the adults who encourage the kids to keep surfing and to stay in school in order to break away from the inevitability of their young lives being turned into short, crime-led existences.
The structure lets the film down, but the use of cinematography is often beautiful and the central characters are hugely engaging. Like Hoop Dreams, the film takes us through the trials of two young men who have a crossroads before them and big decisions to make that could affect the rest of their lives.
If you've seen City of God or City of Men and want to learn more about kids from the favelas, check out this real slice of life. No guns, drug deals or shootouts. Just two kids caught between the favelas and the ocean.
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