Capoeira And Movies

By JYOTSNA

Capoeira in movies

As Capoeira continues to capture the interested hearts of people around the world, we hear and see more and more of it every day. Big thanks to modern media, we get to learn about the beloved art even within the convenience of our homes. We get to witness a game and even feel like we�re part of the roda as we watch the players flip and kick on TV. Capoeira is a unique form of martial art and as so, many filmmakers would want to feature it on film. The beauty and grace of Capoeira surely captivate the audience as it continues to circle the world one movie at a time. From amateur documentaries to full-production Hollywood films, here�s a short list of movies that featured Capoeira:

Curdao de Ouro (1977)

Released in 1977 and directed by Antonio Carlos Da Fontoura, this movie, starring Nestor Capoeira, was about Capoeira set in the future of Brazil. Although some scenes may seem outdated if we watch it nowadays, the music and the spirit of Capoeira, as featured in the film, remained timeless.

Rooftops (1989)

This film was released in 1989 and starred Jason Gedrick.  Set in Manhattan, it tells the story of the main character �T� and his battle to chase away the local drug dealers of his city. It features a lot of Capoeira scenes so for Capoeira fans out there, this should be a good option for �Movie Mondays� or �Film Fridays�.

Only the Strong (1993)

This movie was released in 1993, starring Mark Dacascos and was directed by Sheldon Lettich. It tells the story of a Green Beret who returned to his high school in Miami after accomplishing his military service in Brazil. As his town was dominated by drug gangs, he teaches pupils the art of Capoeira in fighting the drug lords. Truly an inspirational movie, this is highly recommended for all the Capoeira fans out there!

Madame Sata (2002)

Starring Lazaro Santos, this movie was released in 2002 and has a unique story. The main actor played the role of a drag queen but the movie in itself featured a lot of Capoeira scenes. The film is definitely intended for adults but capoeiristas can still enjoy the good roda scenes from the movie too.

Mestre Bimba: A Capoeira Lluminada (2005)

This film was released in 2005 and was directed by Luiz Fernando Goulart. This is a documentary of the life of one of the beloved mestres in Capoeira, Mestre Bimba. The legendary mestre�s life is truly an inspiration to all practitioners, young and old alike.  If it weren�t for the Mestre, we probably won�t even be hearing about Capoeira today! This is definitely a �must-see� movie for every aspiring Capoeirista. It is definitely a great watch for any Capoeira fan.

Besouro/ The Assailant (2009)

Released in 2009, the movie goes by 2 different names. It stars Ailton Carmo and it is a story of the life of  Manuel Henrique Pereira during the 1920s in Brazil.  It is definitely another movie well worth checking out too because the Capoeira fight scenes were perfectly executed.


Capoeira In Hollywood

The influence of Capoeira is not only limited to these few Brazil-based movies. There are Hollywood movies like Bangkok Knockout, Oceans Twelve and The Protector (to name a few) that feature fight scenes with Capoeira-inspired acts.  Overall, modern media, especially through filmmaking, served as an effective catalyst to the widespread of the art of Capoeira. As Capoeira fans, it is important to learn and understand the history of the art but also just as important is the support we provide as we watch it applied in the modern era through films and other media. Let�s continue to treasure the culture that is entirely Capoeira and makes our forefather mestres proud!