Three world renowned masters (Mestre Olavo dos Santos, Mestre Boca Rica, and Mestre Cobra Mansa) tell of the oppressive conditions during and after slavery which shaped the unique art form of Capoeira. Sharing radically different views with their focuses ranging from the violence of Capoeira's early days, to the art of Capoeira's deceptive moves, to the modern social benefits of capoeira for a youth in troubled times; they articulate, through personal insight an animated and colorful picture of Capoeira. Living under bridges on the ghetto streets of Salvador Brazil a young man (Hawke) turns to Capoeira in order to save himself from destitution. Heroically he betters his life and becomes a teacher of Capoerira in turn offering hope and opportunity back to troubled youths. Weaving between interviews, rare old footage, and modern exhibitions of capoeira, the film tells the stories of these men. In so doing, connections to slavery, African Candomble, magic, the music of the berimbau, and ...