Brazil: An Inconvenient History
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Brazil: An Inconvenient History

2010, History  -   89 Comments
Ratings: 7.96/10 from 84 users.

Brazil - An Inconvenient HistoryAt first glance Brazil appears to be an alluring playground of exciting carnivals, sultry samba, divine football and a vibrantly diverse people.

But behind this dazzling facade lies a disturbing story of history's largest-ever slave population.

Astonishingly Brazil, a Portuguese colony, received ten-times more African slaves than the numbers transported to North America.

This programme looks at those estimated 4 million people with whose blood, sweat and tears Brazil was built.

Without them none of Brazil's present-day success and appeal would exist. Using contemporary testimonies, this film takes a hard look at Brazil s dark history through the eyes of those slaves.

They lived in squalid conditions on remote plantations or in teeming cities harboring fatal diseases. Most Africans survived only seven years in this 'New World'.

Some, however, did survive to create a new culture a fusion of African and European. This new ethnicity permeates and explains the modern Brazilian way of life.

This outstanding film, winner of the Houston Film Festival Gold Award, is directed by Phil Grabsky. His film throws light on Brazil s inconvenient history.

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89 Comments / User Reviews

  1. M. Fernandez

    What an "amazing" place Brazil is ...- "Paulistano." Where have you been lately. At mama and papa's fortified penthouse? Brazil is and always has been a smiling nightmare of sorts, a smiling-racist to the marrow country where the population has been desecrated - prorammed- since day one by a cheapo, exploitative sexual slavery of sorts( enter the maids ...).

  2. Lucas

    Leonardo exagerated so much. I live here, and there are lots of things he said that are lies. A Nike cost 400 reais here, not dollars, which means 100 dollars! Here you can live very well, Brasil has the great system for health, the SUS, and you can live here happy with few. Of course, Brasil has a lot of problems, like corruption, education and power at the hands of a little piece of the population. Leonardo seems to be a person who had many problems here, and now has hate on Brasil, you're scary man! Anyway, travelling and living all over the world, it's difficult to find a better place, I love the diversified culture, the climate, the nature, the girls and the people. Obs: my english is not good hahaha

  3. Johann Kepler

    Leonardo-Igor: you sound just like frustrated uper class whining babies, typical discource of "wanna be elite or think I am elite" brazilians. Seriously you are patetic when thinking that crying out your emotional anti-patriotic depression though the internet will gather u some superhumanic gringo console, or do you think that by despising your nation, describing your country and your national fellas as a piece of shit you´re going to show the international community how enlightened you are. Much sorry for you bro. See Germany, France, Austria, despite their big problems in the past nad present, I´ve never seen their nationals reacting like you, by the way, instead of running away, they thought about reconstructing, improving their countries, working together.

    So USA is the best country, as you use it as margin of comparison, because there you buy "surf shorts" way cheaper, you probably don´t know about the slavery work in the chinese factories and if you worship so much your american surf brand and want to buy the same in Brazil, you are due to pay import taxes or buy something made in Brazil instead, which maybe will cost not less, depending of the brand but still Brazilian workers have a generall better situation as the chinese ones! Or do better consume less, just the necessary and u do best for the planet. Get informed, try to de-mainstream your believes before spitting around bad vibes about a nation and its people, which have a tragical history of elitary exploitation in their baggage. You both lack of open minding new horizons. Being the deligent is not everything. People need to have school that serve the individual and community needs not the government, people need to have meaningful jobs, time to dedicate to their families and talents.

    Brazilians haven´t had this opportunity yet, to work for something that they really like and believe, besides that they are suppressed day after day by media, elitary judiciary system and by big foreign unethical corporations (for those you Igor may wish to work one day - monsanto right?). You, for instance, think sadly shallow, when you say you want to keep studing, as you seek a place among the gringos, to feel like one, to simple be able to consume more. But you do not realize how manipulated you are, you are part of the problem not the solution when u express your excluding personality and your sense of superiority, lack of solidarity bro is sad and live room for hate and blind prejudice. I don´t have a religion, but I believe on spirituality, in thriving as a human not as a human trash that lives to adapt to the box you´re in. You probably think that increasing the number of white collars and "schooled" people automatically can be created an developed society.

    Education can also be a form of "mind formation" to set up to "conformation". If you ar so deeply insatisfied, go to the "perfect" USA, maybe you can open your mind there; BUT please get around the many corners there, not as a moron uper class brazilian tourist that goes from shopping mall to shopping mall, from LA to Miami, please see America and you´ll see that even there the world is far far from perfection and in many corners so miserable as it is in Brazil. Beyond that see the USA compatriots just like the middle class in Brazil, consumer orientated, materialistic, dummed by the media and socialy enslaved. Watch less cable tv and start your travel in Brazil bro, backpack, don´t be afraid to talk to locals and see that "unschooled" is not the synonym for ignorance. There is a big powerfull machinery behind all that and it wished that it stays like that. Think open wide bro, peace.

  4. Lord Effington Three Sticks

    Sort of a "Social Justice Warriors" look at Brazil. I watched it but I would warn you it distracts from modern day slavery by focusing on negros as they call them in Brasil. Modern day slavery is the government as master and those who work as slaves.

    I have no doubt slavery was not fun in Brazil but I also have no doubt that those who are in the "Social Justice Warrior" movements would love to have slaves if they were born in that era. They're not to be trusted.

  5. bluetortilla

    A rather lukewarm and truncated attempt at chronicling a soul-numbing brutalization of millions of Africans and Aboriginals. Hopefully someone will do far better soon.

  6. Alfredo Miguel Magalhães

    Fact: Bristish colonies: the most racist empire that ever existed...still not many docs about that...Apartheid in USA untill the 60´s (yeah, thats right), South Africa untill the 90´s and Australia untill the 70´s......Portugal was actually the 1st country to abolish slavery and maybe the european country that killed less indians as you can confirm from the present day population of present example of world races mix! the rest are just storys..not history!

    1. djrm.80

      first to abolish but the first to send slaves to usa...the first 10 slaves had portuguese names there decendents where the first slaves born in usa and when they start bornig in large numbers there they stoped importing...of course when you COMPARE with other colonys... like today they where more kind etc...but we never can forget the bad stuff WE PORTUGUESE did in Angola etc,and colombus did lots of killing in his travels of course he was working in spanish or italian name but he were still portuguese

    2. fredimail

      Yes, Brazil is an amazing country with different races living together in one place, but it doesnt really change what portuguese people have done to the slaves and the native people from that country. You and for sure all the portuguese population are not guilty because of the (bad) actions which were done in the past by some stupid colonizers. But it sounds silly justifying what happened in brazil in the past with things which were done by some other colonizers in other colonies. There was exploatation at the time, which was not the case of the british colonies . And when you say that you were probably the country which killed the least when it comes down to colonizing, it doesnt really change anything, not at all. because it doesnt mean that were few people killed for slavery. Many slaves and indians died because of portugal and theres still going on lots of prejudice from portuguese people towards brazilians. It's like some portuguese people still feel like Brazil is still a portuguese colony.

    3. Norman Keena

      1970s cape st. vincent south west, sagras, auld fort and they had this sound tape, like german french and english... and it going on like the colonies stll there... neah can't believe kids today think portugal is the worlds navle , belly buton... not now everyone no jobs

      ps: races... wtf.... inteligente como pedre.. hehe

  7. Fernando Miranda

    It is so funny and contradictory see a documentary entitled "Brazil:a inconvenient history" made by one of the countries who most exploited the Africa continent. Slavery in Brazil existed in a short period of time: from 1822 (independence of Brazil) until 1888 ("the golden law"). Meanwhile, the United States took almost 100 years to abolish slavery. There is another diference between us: here slavery ended when the princess Isabel put a signature on paper; in the United States, slavery just ended because of the American Civil War. So the conclusion is: we, brazilians, are above you in moral issues.

    1. Filipe Vasconcelos Vianna

      Fala merda não, bicho...

      Brasil was one of the last countries in the world to abolish slavery, and it was only done because slavery was actually more costly to maintain than hiring cheap labor from european immigrants.

      And it didn't make much sense sending thousands of black slaves who fought and died side-by-side with the Brazilian army during the bloody Paraguai War (another inconvenient historical fact) back to the fields to live under the whip.

      And there has been slavery in Brasil way before 1822! Are u mad?! What of all the slaves working in the sugar cane fields in the 17th and 18th centuries? Mine-slaves in Minas Gerais? What about all the natives taken as slaves during all this time? Are you really serious about these dates?

      Your comment is ufanistic and silly. Every nation has it's inconvenient history, I agree that the title for this documentary is equally silly... as if Brazil is seen as a paradise by everyone, including some of the Brazilians. I love this country and there are plenty of amazing things about our people and history, and it's really frustrating to see discussions like this end up in a futile measuring of one's morality.

      so my conclusion is: para de falar merda e queimar filme dos brasileiros!

  8. liridon_n1988

    Brazil is blackest country outside Africa, the british colonized America but they only imported 0.5 million black slaves in other hand brazil slavery lasted till 1888 with import around 4 million slaves plus the european immigration was ten times more in US than Brazil, so dont need to much math to find it out cause this was and is major reason why brazil has more black than white.

    1. fredimail

      According to the 1991 Brazilian census, the racial or color composition of the population was 52
      percent white, 42 percent brown, 5 percent black, 0.4 percent Asian, and 0.2 percent Indigenous.

      although the census date back to the year of 1991, for sure it has not change that much with the rolling of the years.

    2. hernandayoleary

      Most Brazilian blacks classify themselves as brown. Anyone who can pass for white does but the reality is these numbers are more reflective of how America classifies white and black. Brown would be black (including mixed race like Obama or any person lighter than shaquelle o'neal) where as black in brazil only refers to very dark skinned people. You also have to bear in mind wealth affects race in brazil, someone like Shaquelle O'neal or Michael Jordan would normally be classified as white in Brazil because they are rich. And someone who is poor and white could be classified as black but rarely do. These are strange sounding to an America but that is how race works in Brazil. But by an American standard it is really a majority black country. Because half of the whites are multi-racial but classify as white despite clearly being mixed race like a Lulo Da Silva who has a broad nose and dark skin. And very few people classify as black despite having phenotype and racial ancestry consistent with what is considered to be black in the rest of the planet. Brazil has more black people than any other country but Nigeria

      The concept of just 5% of Brazil being black is laughable to anyone whose actually been there.

  9. Janis Liekmanis

    Very interesting, revealing, although the left wing propoganda that they try to feed us in one or another place discredits whole movie. When I first arrived in Brazil, I was surprised how European Brazil is. Almost more so than U.S. The white Brazilians share the European values and tastes and absolute passion for everything European, because they are essentially Europeans just living now on the other side of Atlantic. Black people (obviosly not from Europe) have different tastes and values closer to their home land - of course, why wouldn´t they. So if the Brazilian society is not as homogenous and integrated as the filmmakers would prefere, it is more "clash of civilizations" as S.Huntington would call it, than racism. Racism definitely not.

    1. James Tod

      Brazil has more mix race blacks then America . That is very comon in brazil because the Africans and Indians are poor mostly people and white from the 1800 mixed race with blacks and Indain slavery from female prostitution workers .Making money for there masters . So when they say more blacks than white in brazil .They did not say mix race people . The native indains and Africans was slaves in the brazil . But slavery strated in England and the USA . And whenit was band in England . Later it was Band in America . that Lead the poor countries like Brazil . But brazil took on more then it can handle . I'am shock that slaves never did fight for there freedom .

    2. Paulo Henrique Piva

      Of course they fighted for their freedom. There were towns made of black people who had runned away from slavery, they are called "Quilombos". A serie of historical battles happened between black and white people. The most famous quilombo was the "Quilombo dos Palmares", It was almost a war inside the country, their leaders were "Ganga Zumba" and "Zumbi". This documentary is a s*it, it doesn't tell the whole history, sum everything up too much and distort a lot of information either. Don't trust it.

    3. Rudy Paul

      Paulo, how can anyoe take you seriously when you make p a word like runned or fighted. You lose serious points there. The rest of your argument is useless. We all know typos when we see them; your use of those two non-words is not a typo.

  10. cassavaroot

    You people are ridiculous. Study some Latin America History, please.

    All of the America's were built upon exploitation of resources and indigenous people, in order to benefit Europe. It is the beginnings of Capitalism... (which I could go on a huge rant about, but I will stay on topic).

    This documentary did a pretty good job in describing a huge chunk of Brazil's colonial past. Without this dark history, Brazil would not be what it is today, for the good and the bad. Brazil is a beautiful placed full of wonderful people and culture.

    Sure, the government is corrupt, but name me a government that is not corrupt. However, it is unfortunate that Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world with only 10% of the population holding up the economy, while the rest are living in a struggle to get by. And the problems of social class inequality are a huge issue. Brazil is a wonderful place to live if you are rich! But if you are not, you are pretty much screwed. It is a beautiful place to visit, I highly recommend it. But it is not the best place to live. In North America you can make a living off of working in a fast food restaurant (In North America, you can sit on your ass and get paid at least 3 times as much as someone does in a demanding job in almost every other country! Lucky bastards ;)). Teachers make enough to be well off. However in Brazil, a teacher must work 3 jobs in order to survive. To work picking up garbage, you need a university degree. It is hard to survive it Brazil. But if you are a doctor, lawyer, politician, etc. go ahead, you'll be fine.

    Anyway, regardless of the corruption. Brazil has one of the most unique and lively cultures I have ever experienced. The people are so warm and friendly, and they sure know how to party and enjoy themselves! You cannot just go and say bad things about Brazil, without also describing the good. There's two sides to every story!

    1. zoraideZoraidea

      Very well said cassavaroot!!! bravo!!!

    2. Gustavo

      Bro, have you been to America, you said school teachers earn a good living, my sister in law works as a school teacher there, after paying 100k for her education, she barely makes enough to pay the rent and pay back her student loan , that she had to get a second job, yes there are rareq jobs especially in technology which pay absorbent amount of money, but no one live a better live working in regular jobs or fast food restaurants, There are slums in America , the streets are not paved with gold, but they too have to work long hours to put food on the table. I would look more to countries like Norway or Sweden, where live is better for all citizens , they have shorter working hours ,but higher productivity per capita than any other nations.
      But I guess everyone wants to believe a dream that the grass is always greener on the otherside, when reality is , we are the ones who must nourish our country

  11. Mbugua Kibera N

    this is very disturbing.

  12. Brazilian

    Brazil has many, many qualities and is very similar to United States in my opinion.

    It has great beaches, countrysides, amazing forrests and waterfalls.
    It has vast natural resources like gold, oil, the biggest hidrographic basin of the planet, the amazon and pantanal and all its bilogical capital, a privileged spot for launching space rockets.

    It's not molested by hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanos.

    Brazil's only problem is its people and their absolute lack of will to take advantage of all this potential. They prefer to lean on the state instead of achieving greatness for themselves. They prefer to blame their situation instead of making it better, they could be great because of portugal, than it was the slavery, than hiperinflation and now it's theor broken/corrupted political system.

    1. paulistanos

      Brazil is an amazing place

    2. rsecrest

      If you are white and rich...

    3. paulistanos

      I guess i run in different circles... I never met anyone who blamed anything on the Portuguese. It is nonsensical to say Brazil blames anything about it´s circumstances on slavery. Hyperinflation was an effect, not a cause of anything, except a superior banking system.

      There is corruption, just as there is everywhere. Lobbying of congress in USA is nothing more than legalized corruption. That GM, Haliburton etc. pay such ridiculously low taxes is nothing less than corruption.

      US politicians are unashamedly in the pockets of big business, why should Brazil be any different with such good role models?

  13. leonardobdas

    In all my previous posts I was mostly speaking of Brazil's infrastructure and more indirect features of their reality. There are however many features of the day-to-day lives of brazilians that are worth remarking and serve as proof of what is the mindset of the average person( of any financial status). In this case, I am not the author of the following, rather I was sent this this myself but translate it from one of the many popular lists that go around the net, and it is all reak things that happen that are morally objectionable.

    - Assume autorship to works that aren't theirs
    - Puts co-workers names in attendace lists at work.
    - Pays for others to do their work.
    - Steals cargo from trucks that rolled over on highways.
    - Parks on sidewalks, often right under signs prohibiting the fact.
    - Tries to bribe everytime the opportunity prevents itself
    - Will sell their votes for anything: dentures, a bag of rice, etc.
    - Talks on the cellphone anywhere, including in heavy fast tight pot-holled traffic
    - Will drive on breakdown lane in a traffic jam
    - Double and tripple parks in front of schools
    - Breaks noise and disturbance laws.
    - Drinks and drives as the fact is culture
    - lays out anything on a sidewalk
    - fabricates or gets a doctor's note to miss work.
    - Steals cable, electricity and water, and depending on the place pays for it to an illegal third party
    - Registers real estate purchases with prices a fraction of market value to pay less taxes, often with officials turnign a blind eye.
    - Buys fake receipts to pay less taxes
    - Sues employers for hiring them under the table, after accepting the job in the first place
    - Changes its race designation to get financial and social advantages, such as univertisy quotas for blacks
    - when traveling for business, asks restaurant owners to make a 20 dollars receipt on a 10 dollar lunch, to get steal refund money
    - trades donations of disaster zones.
    - always changes a cars odometer to read out less miles when selling cars
    - purchase and makes illegal products indiscriminately
    - puts just a shell of a catalitic converter instead of a real one to pass inspection
    - adulterates their kids age on documents so not to pay for bus fares
    - carries fake student IDs to get 50% discount at cinemas
    - register cars out of state to pay less taxes
    - gambles in illegal slot machines and gambling schemes owned by mafia lords
    - steals everything as far as office suplies from work
    - sells food stamps, transport stamps, always, publicly

    So there it is, the real deal that is. how can a country ask for morality from their government if their politicians are born and raised in this culture?

    1. Rodrigo Tiradentes

      a place that did not send innocent people to invade countries and kill innocent people

    2. paulistanos

      - Assume autorship to works that aren't theirs
      So copyright laws are unnecesary everywhere else?
      - Puts co-workers names in attendace lists at work.
      Be serious, This happens everywhere, I even did it myself, not in Brazil.
      - Pays for others to do their work.
      Isn´t that what every business owner does?
      - Steals cargo from trucks that rolled over on highways.
      Be serious, 'highway robbery' is not a translation.
      - Parks on sidewalks, often right under signs prohibiting the fact.
      I´ve seen people park badly in every country
      - Tries to bribe everytime the opportunity prevents itself
      Its called lobbying
      - Will sell their votes for anything: dentures, a bag of rice, etc.
      Too pathetic.
      - Talks on the cellphone anywhere, including in heavy fast tight pot-holled traffic
      Too pathetic
      - Will drive on breakdown lane in a traffic jam
      Annoying isn´t it? watching someone else get home early
      - Double and tripple parks in front of schools
      Annoying isn´t it? It stops me double and triple parking
      - Breaks noise and disturbance laws.
      The law exists, and i have personally stopped 2 businesses operating loud machinery in my neighbourhood, now if i could ban car horns.
      - Drinks and drives as the fact is culture
      Unlike just about every other country a very small number of years ago.
      - lays out anything on a sidewalk
      Like everywhere else.
      - fabricates or gets a doctor's note to miss work.
      Like everywhere else
      - Steals cable, electricity and water, and depending on the place pays for it to an illegal third party
      Like everywhere else
      - Registers real estate purchases with prices a fraction of market value to pay less taxes, often with officials turnign a blind eye.
      They should copy British politicians to get away with this.
      - Buys fake receipts to pay less taxes
      Like everywhere else
      - Sues employers for hiring them under the table, after accepting the job in the first place
      This is annoying
      - Changes its race designation to get financial and social advantages, such as univertisy quotas for blacks
      - when traveling for business, asks restaurant owners to make a 20 dollars receipt on a 10 dollar lunch, to get steal refund money
      Like everywhere else. They should learn from British civil servants or the former president of the National Audit Office or from the current director of the serious fraud office
      - trades donations of disaster zones.
      too much to write about on this subject, supreme ignorance must be sublimely blissful
      - always changes a cars odometer to read out less miles when selling cars
      Like everywhere else.
      - purchase and makes illegal products indiscriminately
      Like everywhere else
      - puts just a shell of a catalitic converter instead of a real one to pass inspection
      Brazil has very efficient testing of vehicles.
      - adulterates their kids age on documents so not to pay for bus fares
      Should be free
      - carries fake student IDs to get 50% discount at cinemas
      Like everywhere else
      - register cars out of state to pay less taxes
      Like everywhere else. Why do US companies register in Delaware? UK companies in the BVI?
      - gambles in illegal slot machines and gambling schemes owned by mafia lords
      Like everywhere else
      - steals everything as far as office suplies from work
      Like everywhere else
      - sells food stamps, transport stamps, always, publicly
      Why is this a problem?
      So there it is, the real deal that is. how can a country ask for morality from their government if their politicians are born and raised in this culture?

      *Maybe one day the people that criticize Brazil will look closer to home.

    3. rsecrest

      Please stop, you sound like an apologist for the racist and corrupt of Brazil.

  14. Guest

    @Leonardo and others,
    I am sorry to have put so many same comments, but since i was fed "on and on" the slashing of a country, i wanted to know how he/you got out alive....i am waiting for a response.

  15. teolegendary

    I have been living in Brazil for almost 2 years now. my experience : the first 3-5months - beautiful country, happy people; 5-10 months - hmmmm very beurocratic and really fake people; 10 months and more - BOARING , everything is just the same, ppl drive either black or silver colored car, limited clothing styles coz almost everyone has similar style, how can everyone have similar mind setup?, filled with corrupt minded people!!! can't wait to get hella outta here!

    1. leonardobdas

      and would you mind telling us where you are from? tell us about your home country and how it compares.

    2. zoraideZoraidea

      totally true!!!

  16. Eduardo Dourado

    Although I cannot be sure, I believe the self deprecating comments are not simply made out of self - hate, it pains people to see a land that they probably love live in such a way.

    It is not too common its true. Maybe it is trait the Portuguese left to Brazilians.
    I'm Portuguese, and I can totally understand this point of view.
    Its not health for a nation to look outside with blind admiration, but one should not be proud of ones nation on face value. Even less, should we ignore good examples from abroad.
    Not so much now, but derived from eternal underdevelopment compared with other European countries, portuguese got used to looking abroad for positive behaviors, positive social and tecnological behaviors. It is not entirely without reason this point of view, but it makes one blind to what its being well done inside the country.
    Ultra patriot and nationalist countries, like the USA (not bashing, its just the obvious well known example) have an endemic ignorance of what is foreign because national pride blinds people to what is foreign and to even attempt to see what is outside.
    Neither opposite is good.

    Brazil is a huge country, full of resources. It has a heavy burden of social inequality, which includes hard class, racial maybe even demographic divisions. It took longer than it could have to achieve the level of economical development that it sees today.
    I'm glad brazillians can, with renewed joy, look down on portuguese as the butt of jokes.
    I do hope that besides the recent enlargement of the middle class, Brazil can use its economic prowess to diminish the large numbers of really poor people still living large urban areas.

    I don't find Brazil's history an "inconvenience" to anyone except anyone who wants a harmonious society in Brazil.
    The legacy of Brazil's history is part of the reason Brazil is the way it is today. The good and the bad.
    O samba e os nomes ingleses, o etanol e a destruição da amazónia, o programa espacial e os bairros de lata.

  17. wilcol

    Hi Leonardo,
    It can be that everything you mention (which is a huge list: I almost would admire it) are facts. However it is still a list that steers strongly towards all negative things. Nothing can be so bad that you can think of hunderds of negative facts and no good facts. So please don't argue that the list has nothing to do with your own perspectives and point of views. Furthermore if I have a look at your list, I keep thinking: Hell, why not think of all the usefull things that you could have done with the time and especially energy that you 'wasted' by thinking of as many negative things about Brazil as possible and even take the effort to write them all down.

    1. leonardobdas

      I get confused when people see my epigrams as me "beating down a dead dog". I am certainly not and I suspect I know why: mains tream media put us all in an kind of apathetic mental state, so that wars seem docile, living in suburban planned plots playing the Wii is so cool and the drug violence is just what young poor people do to make a living. We think our 'situation normal' somehow gets a little better if we don't face the facts, since that is so much better than making changes. It is like a woman stuck in a failed marriage with a verbally abusive douche because at least she is better off then her mother since she is not getting beaten up with a belt. It is the normalcy bias, applied to our daily lives.

      I challenge you or anybody to find true examples of widespread social common sense and political progress and empowerement that balances the negative aspects I pointed out. I wish I could make such a list, but I can't make stuff up. If I was not limited by my lack of experience and my limited field of view, the list could be a lot longer.

    2. wilcol

      Hi Leonardo,
      If you cannot come up with anything good about Brazil without making stuff up, I even feel more pity for you then before.

    3. Guest

      An other curious point about you, is why do you write from two different people, Leonardobdas and Leonardo? And do they sometimes dissagree?

  18. odogg51

    A bit lack and not a great cinematic documentary; but boy if this doesn't get the brain thinking. labor relations, culture, colonialism, income inequality, societal structure, and are just a few of the topics running through the head. not quite sure about all this babel below but all in all good information, not a bad documentary.

  19. Leonardo


    A place that the Jitney cabs is a common fixture of large cities.What this means is that regular citizens with their own private cars run illegal taxi operations, with vans, motorcycles, sedans and so on.

    A place that the only luxury store in the country (a Saks equivalent) is a known tax evasion entity, yet they bribed themselves off the hands of fiscal police for 2 decades. Now, after being caught, they are milking the litigious system to keep their founders free and the stores open.

    A place that owners of low end motorcycles paint its engines in hot pink, to reduce chances of theft. They also paint helmets.

    A place that transvestites make it to the cover of Playboy magazine.

    A place that old fashioned zebu carts still roam the streets of major cities.

    A place that stolen vehicles with its VIN #s scratched off ride around the country side and that is a known fact, yet authorities don't do anything substantial about it.

    A place that in amazonian towns bordering drug producing countries, a common citizen can buy cocaine by the pound.

    A place that your Rio's welcome package includes the smell of filth coming off the bay and its 40+ thousand fecal matter particles per liter. Sometimes you can smell it right after the door is open, which makes one think somebody pee'd right there.

    A place that when you walk into a shop named to be an all sports specialy shop, you wonder if you walked into a sneakers shop.

    A place that you can walk in pretty much any drug store in Rio's suburbs and purchase Viagra without a prescription.

    A place that manufacturers of windows almost always make them with steel cross bars, for protection. Talking about Windows, but this time for the computer world, the only version that exists is "Illegal Pirated 7".

    A place where governments introduce GMO crops and that fact makes zero fuss in the media. If you ask a person on the street, chances are they don't even know what that is.

    A place that charges 6 dollars for an ounce of salmon wrapped in seaweed and a bit of rice, in what is called Temaki Bars.

    A place that politicians spend public money all over Rio de Janeiro on signs and billsboards showing that they have constructed smooth road surfaces. That should be the norm, and certainly not something worthy of a billboard.

    A place that the largest seller in the auto industry for 22+ years and running is the VW Gol. Just so you get an understanding of the technology under a car that will cost you 18 thousand dollars with a 1000cc engine and no power windows or A/C, its suspension and chassis haven't fundamentally changed since its inception in 1980, i.e: the vehicle only goes through cosmetic changes so after 30 years, is considered to be still a second generation vehicle and it still does not move out of 1st place.

    A place were political party affiliation is seen as weird and radical.

    A place that drug dealers stole riffles right off a military base in Rio.

    A place that packing box and aluminum recycling is done by men pulling makeshift carts carrying 20ft high loads, a true balancing act right on the streets of cities.

    A place where discounted metro tickets are illegaly sold on the streets.

    A place where the stereotype is spoken as fact in many circles, including middle class and the rich. This means that there is a significant portion of the population that the only knowledge of the USA is fat people or girls with big breasts and little bottoms posing with big fluffy hair. FYI, there are still many 80s and 90s tv shows and movies on afternoon tv out there.

    A place that some money and enough patience to shop around can get you any drug in a pharmacy, and until recently that could be done by delivery.

    A place that there exists almost no zoning laws regarding where an individuial can put up a business. It means that if your neighbor wants to open up a strip club right next to your million dollar mansion, it will happen.

    A place that you can see minor smoking crack cocaine at the door step of major shopping malls, like the Norte Shopping in Rio de Janeiro.

    A place that one single color copy can cost 2,50 dollars downtown Rio, because the copiers are imported and cost a good 50 grand easily.

    A place that guns are sold to drug dealers by cops themselves.

    A place that peeing in public is common, albeit it is done hidden from view. For example, taxi stops with dozens of cars sometims function without a public restroom, which means guys pee on some street corner all day long. Certain areas of parks, tunnels, pedestrian crossings are also used as restrooms. Even places that are supposed to be must sees like the Arches of Lapa in Rio smell like urine.

    A place that I have never ever heard a politician sound intellectually capable, with the exception of former President Fernando Henrique.

    A place where traffic cones are used by civillians to mark off public parking spaces on busy downtown streets.

    A place that one needs a driver's license to ride a personal water craft, which are rented at 100 dollars per hour in summer vacation hot spots. Despite existing laws prohibiting their transit near the general public, irresponsible and often drunk show offs are seen putting bathers lives in danger all over the country.

    A place that basic public works like fixing sewage and road buidling often start before elections and are left behind or suffer major delays once the elections are over.

    A place that water drains are used as storage by beggars and street vendors.

    A place where water fountanis are almost certainly beggar showers.

    A place that beaches smelling like sewage (because that is what they are) is a normal thing.

    1. leonardobdas

      Hi there Azilda, I used to comment under leonardo before the new commenting system here at TDF. Anyways i have travelled to 3 dozen countries out there and grew up in brazil... and really all I typed up is folklore, common knowledge and news reports. I could type up another 300 of these if I wanted to... they are out daily in newspapers.

      I am not sure where you are from, but I assume you are american because of the way you for example.... u know those big SUVs that now even blue collar workers drive out there, with the big rims and stuff....that one can get for 20 grand? well, in brazil the closest thing for a blue collar worker is is a mountain bike with a tricked out suspension fork... and I am not joking... so.... please..... u have no idea... brazil is shit for 9 out of 10 people, in comparison to what americans have and take for granted.

      another example.... you can get a gym membership for 10 dollars at 24h fitness... with all high quality equipment and other wonders of america.... well, if you want the same quality here, it is 400 dollars... not joking.

      now I dunno if I contradicted myself, I may have since this is what this forum is good for.... to help people form opinions.


    2. leonardobdas

      Another piece of amuzing brazilian political-ness out today in the news: the penal code allows for a person to confess to a murder in court, and still not go to jail. what happened was that a student was murdered inside Sao Paulo's university campus, where cameras filmed the whole thing. His crime partner, having spontaneously turned himself in and confessed to the crime, was allowed to be freed and was even morally protected by his lawyer on national tv, which claimed he was following the 'crime ethic code' of not being a snitch.

      on more mild news.... the bmw 1 M is out for sale in brazil... price in the US: 50 grand, price in brazil 200 grand.... hmmmm

    3. leonardobdas

      just happened a few days ago: 400+ firemen in Rio de Janeiro marched into a police headquarters, asking to double their 600 dollars a month salary. what happened? JAIL. that is right, Rio 's firemen are IN JAIL RIGHT NOW, for protesting to make a decent wage. Welcome to the land of carnival dear TDF friend!

    4. Guest

      @Leonardo bdas
      Canada is my country of origin, i live in it at the moment although what i really like in life is to be traveling my shoes and mind abroad.
      Never been to Brazil, it has been on my top list for some times next to Namibia.
      I think i may want to go sit on a dune first!
      You obviously are happy to be out of Brazil, your way of describing it may be the best you can, and in fact it may even help people to change.
      All ways can be our ways. How DID you get out alive or were you less vocal then?

    5. leonardobdas

      you know, get on to travel... have you done any? go do it! namibia sounds excellent..... hmmmm makes me dream. South africa is a good place to start such a journey, cus it is pretty cheap and you can drive up to its neighbors with warm beaches. I know a guy that travelled africa for 18 months with his son for about 28 grand including the price of the car, which he then sold for more than he paid.

      well, i try to describe what I see really. it is still very much an aristocratic society in brazil, the whole meritocracy thing is in its infancy. see, brazilians are afraid, not passive. they are ignorant, not shy. they suffer from terrible status anxiety and inferiority complex, they are an extremelly emotional society(look for the lewis cultural types model graph). it is a society in its infancy, and being humble to talk about that is not something that children can do....

      I think it is just not as good as they see it is, or in a more positive way, they know it yet they make the best of it by just accepting it in a humorous drunk sexy way.... if you know what I am saying. By the way, there is a documentary called status anxiety that is wonderful and its on youtube, i recommend it.

      in closing.... Brazil: it is like a really pretty prostitute that you suspect it has aids, but you do her anyways.... it may kill you but hey.... the temptation is too great and the price seems fair. bazingaaaaaaaa

    6. Guest

      I traveled West Africa twice, 6 months each time.I have also traveled to about 40 countries. Traveling is what i do and i have nothing to show for it, it's all inside of me. I own hardly anything, an old 97 Ford Escort is my way to move from caretaking one house to the next caretaking. It is my expertise, giving loving care to people's properties while they are away for vacation or work abroad. When i am not doing that, i am backpacking.
      Namibia is the country that was suggested to me the most by the travelers i met on my journeys in Africa....and i love the deserts of the world. It reminds me of who i am, a grain of sand in eternity. day before i get too old.

    7. leonardobdas

      wow. thas is fantastic azilda! u must know of couchsurfing dot org then, where you can to network an know people when you are in such places. I wish you the best. now how do u get these homes to work on? craigslist? or is there some agent or something? ypou know, my favorites are the deserts too, i cant wait to see a proper one. will do soon though. when are you planning a new trip?

    8. Guest

      Couchsurfing? yes i know of it, also Wwoof and others.
      Caretaking? word of mouth and occasionally an add.
      Deserts? no place more quiet other than the sea. They are similar in a way, waves of sand, waves of water.
      Next trip? May be back to Mexico with my car for the winter. The spring so far in BC is wet, cold and making one long for sunshine!

  20. Leonardo

    @ Luiz

    There are numerous cases, from water usage to gun control to the complete repeal of the new Obama care laws that are the states using interpretations of the US constitution to make laws of their own. Brazilian States don't do that.

  21. Luiz

    "A place that the constitution gives absolute powers to the federal government.This means that if the feds make a law, States cannot declare it unconstitutional and rule it out, because that is a power States don’t have (with the same amplitude as in the USA)."

    You don't know anything about US law. States cannot violate the US constitution. You should just shut up about things you don't know anything about.

  22. Leonardo


    A place that the constitution gives absolute powers to the federal government.This means that if the feds make a law, States cannot declare it unconstitutional and rule it out, because that is a power States don't have (with the same amplitude as in the USA)

    A place that has multiple cities that feature 50 murders per week on average.

    A place that if you and your friends know people in TV, in a city of 1 million people, and you went to your regular vacation in Macchu Picchu for a week, you get that story run in the entire State!

    A place that road blockades by AK-47 armed teenagers are a daily life treat in Rio's guettos.

    A place that 3/4 of people are not hired based on intelectual merit or common sense, but on inside knowledge and recommendation.

    A place where political progressiveness is always nipped in the bud by the media.

    A place with dozens of multilated cities, featuring nothing short of despotic architecture and absolutely no planning. Most towns with 500 thousand people or less, are basically over developed slums with a few downtown roads. Large cities that were large enough in the beginning of the 19th century feature some beautiful architecture, but that is usually left to rot too. The very few exceptions to this rule become turist destinations, like the town of Poços de Caldas in Minas Gerais.

    A place where the the fundamental rules of family life are talked about extensively in the conservative circles, yet the execution of it fails and it is seen in the form of our little girls having sexy dancers as their role models, like the latest samba dancer that in order to get her perfect looking legs, is able to leg press 1000 pounds.

    A place that just got the lovely new Passat for sale in VW's showrooms, for 189 thousand reais, about 110 thousand dollars.

    A place void of grass roots campaigns and substantial activism, in face of the obvious and rampant corruption. Most campaigns that make it big are usually the so called social entrepreneurship companies using government money to execute projects that typically pay big shot speakers and make a lot of noise but little actual change. It means, these are people that know how to milk the system with a front of being green/social but they are after profit. For example, recently there was a tradeshow on green economy in Rio that consumed 22 million reais of government money and was nothing but a show and tell and international ego boosting, as well as royal parties at key bourjois universities.

    A place where you are able to illegaly double park right in front of a cop car, and nothing is done.

    A place where most of its rivers are completelly polluted. In some cities, large rivers like the Rio das Velhas that crosses a major metropolitan region in teh State of Minas Gerais, used to be a 500 meter wide deep navigable river and now it is a city sewage canal.

  23. Leonardo


    A place that a sugarcane laborer earns 6 dollars a day on average, effectively being on the fields 14-16 hour days cutting tons of the stuff using a machete often without protecting gloves. Men start their shift at 3AM, after being hauled to fields in open bed semis. On such a truck, alongside perhaps 50-100 more guys, they hang on to their lives to be transported to the fields from the outskurts of Brazilian midwestern towns. Meanwhile, one cup of sugar cane juice is 1 dollar at the beach.

    A place that most of its population watches religiously to mexican style soap operas. The multi million dollar per episode productions and its mix of passion, betrayal and greed is the staple of the most Brazilian entertainment.

    A place that have scenic roads and key bridges crossings turned into toll roads, where they are controlled by important families with political ties. In my hometown, we have such a case: it was supposed to be built in 5 years and paid for in 7 years of tolls. It was built in 9, and the toll fares are going on 20 years strong. Did I mention the government just rewarded their company with a 25 year lease?

    A place that a university with 20+ thousand enrolled refuses to hire private security for its own parking lots, allowing for regular re-ocurring carjackings.

    A place that 50 million still go to bed hungry everyday, yet having the third most arable land in the world behind india and China still makes for Brazil being a huge importer of rice from Thailand.

    A country that the income gap between the top and the bottom averages out at 400 times.

    A place that accepts a police state including security cameras everywhere in public places, random searches, police barricades and so on.

    A place that the upper class is fed the same soft euphemized filtered news Reuters gives them, i.e: Brazil has almost no original news reporting in the sense that there is a unbiased and multi-faceted opinion being fed to the masses.

    A place obsessed with the United States, to the point of having a statue of liberty in one of its avenues.

    A place that exports its best produce to foreign countries. For example, locally consumed coffee is mixed with various fillers, meanwhile export quality is top notch.

    A place that has absolutely no pride on its production of goods. For example, we get to see in the US several coffee brands are branded as being from Peru or Jamaica and so on. Yet brazilians coffee producers spend nothing in branding the most abundantly used coffee in the world as the world's best.

    A place that its population has no knowledge of its neighboring countries, because most aren't adventurous or rich enough to travel and are influenced by the media which shows nothing of them but violence and the standard internationally accepted political divide. There is no BBC showing documentaries of awesome developments of its universities, and we certainly don't have our own David Attenborough. This means that 90% of the people don't have a clue if Bolivia or Colombia are in the map.

    A place that has had a major druglord behind bars for over 5 years, yet he is still making the news because he still runs the drug show from behind federal prison bars!

    A place that has entire metropolitan communities like Recife (home of 3+ million) where it is common for 13 year olds girls to wonder the city selling their bodies to foreigners.

    A place that has many metropolises where 3/4 of it population lives in slums or slum like conditions.

    A place that the so called middle class are still absorbed by the post colonial mentality in the division of resources and class separation.

    A place that projects an image of careless fun and the sober acceptance of the so called god given natural gifts, but the reality is that its population are unhappy, jealous, prejudiced, condecending, competitive and absorbed in futile entertainment.

    A place with the largest population of crossdresses and transvestites in the world, 100% devoted to prostitution. In Rio's streets, random trials detected +50% of them carries HIV.

    A place where its National parks are kept with 0.1% of the budget of American National Park system. It means that there are parks the size of NYC or Washington DC being kept with 1 ranger without a car and an old machete. Parks are left to burn at a regular basis and there is not much of a fire prevention system in place, let alone access to families to enjoy wild life. In fact, most nature has already been wiped out during the processes and patterns that layed out western civilization, at least anywhere outside of the Amazon in the NW. The Atlantic Forest, Brazil's most famous and rich biome, is virtually gone. What is left of it are 3rd and 4th growth bush dotting the landscape, no special care for riverside bush, no large mammals, no fancy birds or certainly rodents like the Lowland Paca are getting rarer and rarer.

    A place that it's national tree, the Pau Brasil, is so rare that its ilegal trading is done by the pound.

  24. Igor

    Luiz, sorry, but you are naive. By the way, your last comment is true. Here in Brasilia, you can’t imagine how often we “ask the gringo gods for salvation”. If you knew how many public policies are just translation of “gringo’s” laws, ideas and principles, you would be not very “pride”. Because here in public service, as well as in big Brazilian’s companies (I have worked in some of them), you can’t imagine how value is somebody that has studied abroad (specially Britain and Common Wealth, USA and France)… hehe.
    I haven’t had the chance yet. But I am struggling to do it. If I manage it, there are a lot of places that will fight for me.
    Sorry again to tell it. I am not proud of it, and to be honest I don’t think we should think this way. I am attending a pos graduation at a federal university in Brasilia, all the biography is in English and the best teaches and references are just the ones that studied long years abroad (in the countries listed above).
    I agree with Leonardo, if you work close to the people and institutions that make difference (technically)in our country and in big companies (even Brazilians) you will understand that we are not talking about against our country, but exactly the opposite, we are studying and working hard to improve the level and quality of our society, that unfortunately sometimes don’t want it. People only think about money and party(I like them too), but culture and knowledge by themselves are very valuable as well. The truth that they are considered worthless for the majority of our people (even by the elite). If we want to improve our country, we have to start being honest with ourselves, otherwise we will always be “in development” and blaming eternitily Portugual, USA ,or even God for our incompetence...

  25. Luiz

    I wonder why one does not see people of other nationalities online creating long laundry lists of everything that is wrong with their countries, and in English? How many Nigerians, Mexicans, English, Americans, etc., do you see doing this? It's a typical Brazilian thing, of people who lack a sense of pride, who have a "vira-latas" ("mutt") syndrome. What's the purpose of washing dirty laundry to an international audience?

  26. Luiz

    "So, as you all can see, some of the responses here suggest both the intelectual limitations of a people that can’t diferentiate fact from fiction, . . ."

    How self-centered. I always find it sad when people think they are "intellectually superior" to other people when people don't agree with them. It is a sign of a small mind. Get some therapy so you will overcome your depression and not see the glass half empty all the time.

  27. Leonardo

    All I wrote on my long posts are facts: folklore, day to day activities, observations and the news. There is nothing that steer towards personal perspectives, emotions or a point of view.

    So, as you all can see, some of the responses here suggest both the intelectual limitations of a people that can't diferentiate fact from fiction, and that there is no respect for those that are able to read in between the lines. Most importantly, it shows that these are people that cannot face the facts.

  28. Igor

    Luiz, I understand that Leonardo is already quite annoyed about his country… but as matter of fact I am quite annoyed as well. For me, the problem is our culture. We like things easy and not necessarily well done (in a nutshell)… and for me, it is unacceptable. We like, actually, LOVE to take advantage of each other (specially in Rio de Janeiro).If you read my previous post, I have worked auditing public and private companies, and after few years doing it, I have realized how things happen here, and it is a shame… we are not serious as a country or culture. I am sorry, but this is my opinion, based on my moral values.
    Of course, there are countries worse than ours, but surely there are better places to live and raise a family… Societies more equally arranged, like Australia and Canada. First, I left Rio de Janeiro (for me a sick society – most of the ‘cariocas’ LOVE that mess, so that they deserve what happens there) to live in Brasilia – Plano Piloto - (not an interesting or vivid city, but maybe the safest and most organized place in Brazil). Unfortunately, like Leonardo, I am not in peace living here.
    I recommend “Who killed the electric car?”. It reminders everyone how important is to keep fighting everyday and every moment for our rights and liberty.

  29. Luiz


    This Leonardo guy is full of self-hate. Brazil has its problems but it is not the only country in the world with problems. Self-hate won’t lead you anywhere good. I have lived abroad for many years. For every negative about Brazil there is always one or more positive counterparts.

  30. Luiz

    This Leonardo guy is full of self-hate. Brazil has its problems but it is not the only country in the world with problems. Self-hate won't lead you anywhere good. I have live abroad for many years. For every negative about Brazil there is always one or more positive counterparts.

  31. Leonardo


    A place that lacks pilots for its commercial flying industry, yet it does not offer plausible finance options for local prospective students. So instead of financing brazilians wannabe pilots, the government is about to open its doors for foreign pilots, which will virtually kill the chances for brazilians to become pilots.

    A place that you can can enjoy a macaw stew right on the streets of many Amazonian cities.... yes yes yes... those birdies that Americans pay 1000 bucks for at Pet Smart.... are street lunch in Manaus and Belém.

    A place that features 20 million dollar condos at Ipanema, 1 mile from drug dealing infernos where the governments offers the occasional siege control event just to show it is doing something.

    A place that is infested by tagging (graffiti). Rio, for example, is tagged all over the place.

    A place that its weather forecasting systems is ONE old and overloaded sattelite, which means 200 million people get better weather forecasting from Nostradamus.

    A place that 30 million people were lifted ouf ot poverty. It means that instead of making 100 dollar a month, they make 130. yay!

    A place that will turn a beautiful river estuary into another hydroelectric plant, ruining a region's ecosystem based on the scientific method (of making money).

    A place that a carnival ticket in Bahia can cost up to 2000 dollars for 4 days, to which commoners save all year for.

    A place that the only way youngsters act "pro environment" is when they are at large music festivals reading recycling education brochures.

    A place that if you are a tradesman, meaning if you are skilled like a welder or a Veterinarian or an Arquitect, you are very likely not able to live an independent and prosperous life (barely being able to own a car, perhaps)

    A place that those looking for higher salaries use their degree to compete for a job as a government minion, such as an elections clerck, federal police officer, prosecutor and so on, instead of pursuing the career which fits their life's mission or their degree. It means that there are many veterinarians working in an office managing people that count votes.

    A place that the starting salary for a Architect at a small firm is 700 dollars a month.

    A place that all government pensioning, the equivalent of Social Security in the US, is the federal minimum monthly wage, equivalent of roughly 300 dollars per month, and it does not matter who you are. NGOs say it should be 1800 dollars to cover what is considered minimum expenses.

    A place that currently has 4-5 million undocumented domestic workers, meaning there are 4-5 million dark (likely) skinned women with multiple children squeezing fresh orange juice for squeaky clean teenagers wearing fresh ironed underwear (yes, it kills germs, so the local custom says).

    A place that its reading and math test scores are 1/3 of its Chinese counterparts.

    A place that is sold as the world's new eldorado by CBS's 60 minutes, where they featured the country's richest man as its spokesperson. Of course, it is not mentioned that his father was the energy and resources minister for years when the government was under military rule, which gave him a kick start with hugely facilitated government contracts.

    A place that a condo that used to be 50 grand 10 years ago is now 250 grand, and they say the poor are able to afford homes now, of course if they finance it which tripples that 250 bill to 750 in a 20 year mortgage.

    A place that an artisan build a friend's staircase out of stone over the course of a month, by himself, and charged 800 dollars for it... and that was expensive!

    A place that the largest weekly magazine is 2/3 ads, yet if you want to subscribe it you don't get a discount for paying upfront (perhaps 5% on special occasions), so ultimately it costs 5x as much as its USA competition.

    A place where unofficial and corrupt vigilante squads (retired or expelled cops or military) run the show in many parts of the country, either functioning as de facto government authorities or side by side with its official yet corrupt friends, the cops. This happens in all large cities, and it is specially occurring in Rio de Janeiro.

    A place that a friend and his wife were victims of armed carjacking, to luckily get away with it. Subsequently, because were influencial folks, they ordered the hunt and killing of both robbers, and still boasted in private circles as the right and cool thing to do.

    A place that police armored helicopters are shot at and even shot down by drug cartels and nothing is effectively done.

    A place that the police hijacks gasoline frmo their own cars and aircraft, and sell it for a profit.

    A place that is about to federalize its identification system, featuring data tracking RFID chips, which is another step to tax and control the population even more.

    A place where males trained females to accept infidelity and blame other (so untrustworthy) women for it!

    A place that your average male cannot express himself artistically just for the sake of it, fearing association with homosexuality. In fact, a man is made fun of regularly if he is near, around or holding any falic object like a banana.

    A place were drunk driving is a fact of everyday life, and getting away with it a matter of money, such as a person I know that got away with running over and killing a senior citizen after a raging night out and subsequently passing out on the wheel. Yes, he is rich and lives happily and free with no jail time.

    A place that recently had its government make an effort to raise its education standards by relaxing rules for the opening of universities (the easy way out, as usual), which created a plethora of awful schools around the country. It means that now the government can say that its citizens have access to higher education, albeit the quality is sub-par at best.

    A place that features a handful of high schools with a 3-5 thousand dollars monthly fees and they don't even rank in the top 50 in the country in tests.

    A place that only 25% of its people donate any amount of money to charitable organizations and only 15% of its people volunteer their time, in comparison to for example 70% of Australians giving money and 40% volunteering. These numbers put brazil lower than Malawi, Kenya, Congo, Myanmar, and hundreds of others.

    A place in which its citizens are not familiar with sarcasm. It means that the cheapest form of humor, making fun of oddities and common behavior like a 7 year old, is the average citizen's humor repertoire. For example, say a 20 year old guy walks into a mall wearing a panama hat. He will be laughed at (under the radar of course) just because a hat is not the norm. Same goes for a beard, or a mustache, and needless to say any behavior vaguely resembling homosexuality. That same behavior ends up creeping into the everyday life of couples, when calling each other fat is normal.

    1. Guest

      How did you get out alive?

  32. Leonardo

    @everyone that made comments, both foreign and domestic (lol)

    Thanks for all words, certainly appreciated.

    For those that agree with me, all I say is that despite Brazilians being well intentioned and positively spirited, they lack confidence and the ability to make judgment and act on it specially as a group. Curiosity, as I see it, comes from the observation and thus the interpretation of issues, and sadly that is not in the realm of possibility for most Brazilians because they focus on reproduction and religion. That is the truth, as you can see right here in this forum, for people crucify me simply for pointing out obvious truths. I wonder when will I hear something like "what else do you know?" or "how do you see a solution that gives people purpose and meaning?"

    For those that don't agree, I can only offer my deep appreciation for your time, and understanding for your anger. Let me tell you that gratitude for dark skinned maid Maria's fresh squeezed orange juice goes a long way to work out those anger issues...specially if she has been ironing your underwear just the way you like it...... you know.... your basic rights (sarcasm here...)

    Not but really, wake up people: there is not enough petroleum under the atlantic that will give the average brazilian people a fair share of the resources they deserve. Until a God comes out of the sky and gives exact instructions in plain portuguese.....until then... forgetaboutit

  33. Igor

    Although I have a good salary for Brazilian standards (~110,000USD per year). I am studying hard to have a chance abroad, maybe in Canada or Australia... not as a floor cleaner or seller, but as a qualified worker... who knows my children grow in other society...

    "If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"

  34. Igor

    As Leonardo and Emanuela, I'm Brazilian too...
    I have to agree with Leonardo. I am from Rio de Janeiro, but for five years I've lived in Brazilia, Brazil's capital.
    I have worked in some private and public companies/agencies basically in international trade and auditions and finance. I’ve audited many public projects in Rio de Janeiro as well as federal too. In a nutshell, I am a high qualified worker for Brazilian standards.
    In addition to facing our reality everyday as a citizen, I, unfortunately, have some experience with Brazil’s public administration reality.
    I don’t want to write too much, so in few words I‘d say that, depending on your personal values (moral and life style), living in Brazil is terrible. Corruption, injustice, violence, high taxes with no benefits, everyone wants to take advantage of each other and so on… a HIGHLY HIPOCRITICAL SOCIETY.
    Emanuela, sorry, or you are one more Brazilian hypocrite, or very naïve. There are problems everywhere and of course our country isn’t by far the worse place in the world. I advise you to study more the indices of development, education and happiness, like HDI (Human Development Index). You will realize that our economic health don’t follow our human development. They are very distant from each other… why?
    Thank you

  35. Maria

    I enjoyed everything you said. I`m a gringa living in Rio, your SO right, I had to laugh. I love Rio, now you have made some things much more clear to me.. Good for you, keep it coming, brilliant!!

  36. Eduardo

    If u see how unfair is to live there, as a Brazilian, you should at least help make changes. In fact, is very sad when we need to compare Brazil with other countries, but in my point of view, you are part of the millions of Brazilians who watch it all quiet, or better, in your case, you only complain about it all.
    Seu trouxa.

  37. manoulo

    Thank you very much for such an extensive description of the real Brazil. Awesome work!

  38. sasidhar

    some of the natives got mixed with the Europeans and black people, while some still live in remote parts of northern Brazil.
    many natives who still follow their customs can be seen these days though reports said this trend is decreasing.

  39. Karen

    What happened to the natives, where are they now.

  40. Emanuela

    Dear Leonard,
    I´m Brazilian and your view of my contry is very very stereotyped. I don´t know were you are from but I´ve travelled around a lot and I´ve through very bada situations on france, on US, on UK and a lot of other places and that don´t change the way I think about this countries. Would be easi to say tha UK is a place were brazilian workers are killed for nothing by the police. But we got to know that is not a rule. Is easy to say that coca cola company murder people in the the third world because they belong the union. But there is a lot of people from UK and US and all over that are fine human beens. This documentary is very interesting, But in Brazil the story of slavery is not a secret story, is our story. All this wealth construct that documentaries talks about went to europe, not to us. We had to deal with this heritage. And that is what we are doing until today. If our economy is groing is for obvius reasons. Large country huge population a lot of natural ressouces. How we are going to deal with it that our challenge for the future, future is today. I´m sorry that you spend your time to say this kind of things of Brazil, an amazing culture. Next time try to look at good side of things.

  41. Juliana

    Everywhere we go around the world has its ups and downs. I live in Dubai for a couple of years now, literally the dream land, and it is far from being perfect. If you live in a country for a long time you will end up developing a more critical opinion about it based on experiences of your everyday life, but that doesn’t except all other countries of having flaws as well. There are lots of things that go on a daily basis everywhere that most people don’t know about it and, let’s face it, never will. The trick question is: what are you doing to make a change where you live? Or is it more comfortable leading a live being condescending and bending down to things you don’t believe in?

  42. Debbie

    honestly hate to hear people talking badly about my native country Brazil, but unfortunately it is our reality and it shocks me too.
    Brazilians are naive and have no idea how miserable they are, as you said, for them being able to finance a refrigerator is good enough.
    I didn’t know either how badly we live over here until I spend 5 years in the US. Now, back home I live this sad reality.
    Where I pay 30% in taxes for food, $1.900 in car insurance a year, 4 dollars a gallon for gas and not saying that people will fool you right and left to get your MONEY and if u sue somebody, be ready to wait long years for nothing.

  43. Debbie

    I honestly hate to hear people talking badly about my native country Brazil, but unfortunately it is our reality and it shocks me too.
    Brazilians are naive and have no idea how miserable they are, as you said, for them being able to finance a refrigerator is good enough.
    I didn't know either how badly we live over here until I spend 5 years in the US. Now, back home I live this sad reality.
    Where I pay 30% in just in taxes for food, $1.900 in car insurance a year, 4 dollars a gallon for gas and not saying that people will fool you right and left to get your many and if u sue somebody, be ready to wait long years for nothing.

  44. hetha

    comments@ Leonardo~ You sure articulated enormous inequalities and blatant fractions of wealth Leonardo's like an anarchy of self defeat and yet I was somehow coherant that the africans' were living life with integrity in tact...But the deep struggles for this life , It's not working for all , it's a non-sense ...Could be change on the way as everything does ...I will continue observations of the promised future from now ...I will witness thru' your open and articulate comments for us to read to know better your country ...:)

  45. Leonardo

    Watch both 'Elite Squad' movies, they show you how it is. Elite squad 2 which is still in Brazilian cinemas is specially interesting because it is so realistic. It shows you exactly how a politicians works. Also watch Manda Bala, that talks loudly about this country.

  46. Hugo Arana

    I live in the USA, the most racist and segregated place I've ever been to. I travel to Brazil sometimes. Brazil is a beautiful country. It is racially integrated. And people are friendly and hospitable. Now with the PT in power, life conditions are improving a lot. All the social discrepancies shown on this film are due to the class differences. It is not about race or the slave trade. Now that the working class is uniting and fighting back for social justice, things are improving and poor blacks are fighting alongside poor whites, and Meztizos and Japanese, etc.

  47. Eb Mandra

    What a pity, the videos aren't any longer available.
    Is it possible uploading somewhere else and sharing the link?

    1. Vlatko

      Fixed that @Eb Mandra.

  48. sasidhar

    thanks dude.
    Hope Brazil will improve soon and become a better society

  49. Leonardo

    A few more cute facts about Brazil:

    A place that is more expensive than the United States by far, to live or to travel or to open a business.

    A place where sidewalks are mostly nonexistent.

    A place that a pair of surfing shorts can cost 200 dollars easily.

    A place that a 5 pound bag of protein powder is 150 dollars, on the cheap side.

    A place that books cost 3x as much as in the USA, while people make little money.

    A place where a politician is accused of stealing hundreds of millions from the budget for the construction of an airport and still gets elected.

    A place that features cities like 'Hell de Janeiro' which is essentially 95% slum. Look on Google Earth.

    A place that a politician is caught stuffing his underwear with stolen cash, and his wife still gets 42% of the votes in an election.

    A place that tickets for several new years parties were going for 1000 dollars and you still had to pay for drinks.

    A place that you can see political cabinet members and other assistants beign hired to fulfill election favors, while nothing gets done ever, on a regular basis.

    A place where any unqualified person can turn into unlicensed self help guru by opening up evangelical churches, and being coaches for ex-murderers, ex-drug-dealers and so on.

    A place where you can get a pretty good hooker for 80 dollars, I say a 8,5 girl can be yours for that much.

    A place that you can make 100 grand a month for your entire life, but when you retire the government will get you 250 a month.

    A place that until the mid 90s a phone line was 10 thousand dollars in cities liek Rio or Sao Paulo.

    A place that still have 1/4 of its population living under 2 dollars a day, and that means mud shacks, cow eyes for special occasions and parents prostituting their daughter in vilalges up north

    A place that a special phonomenon of "river dolphin children" happens up north. it means that old men raping teens and getting them pregnant and people actually believe it was some spiritual dolphin spirit that impregnated the child.

    A place that has 12 planes for its air defese... and 11 are not working.

    A place that if the goverment hires your company to lay tarmac that is 8 inches thick, you lay 4 inches and pocket the profits.

    A place where comedians and cartoonists were prohibited by law to make fun of politicians that were running for office....until they finally changed that last minute

    A place that the internet is 4x slower than in the US for the same money.

    A place where hospital infrastructure is dirtier than many slaughterhouses in Europe

    A place that calls itself "Marvelous City" which is Rio de Janeiro has the city's largest dump site right next to the ocean.

    A place where hippies are essentially beggars selling trinkets to pay for food and weed.

    A place that if you want to race your car on the weekend be prepared to pay 500-1000 dollars for a trackday, instead of the usual 10-10 dollars in some regional tracks in North America

    A place where the doctor rides in his 300 thousand dollar BMW X6 and his assistant rides in her bicycle.

    A place where getting pulled over means instant and opening bribing the cop is ok.

    A place where guys will walk around selling pirated DVDs for 1-2 dollars each.

    A place where safe home ownership means having 2 dobermans, alarm system, electric fencing and tall walls....inside your gated guarded community.

    A place where highrises in large cities have 2 gates, so when you are driving out of the garage the building is locked before the car is released 'into the wild'.

    A place where for every 100 dollars you pay an employee, you pay 121% to the government.

    A place where a high end club charges 100-200 dollars per person just for entrance.

    A place where mininum wage is 295 dollars a month for a 44 hour work week, which means most brazilians live on 9,85 dollars per day (not enough to buy a big mac meal).

    A place where most people are completelly and utterly emotional in their decision making.

    A place where being a foreigner person or company somehow gives you instant status in and by itself.

    A place where your 100 dollar raybans will go for 400.

    A place where the latest car is the model that was out of product line in 2005.

    A place where marketing agencies have almost no creativity, with the exception of those run by international conglomerates, because business owners are typically old school barons with limited minds and limited budgets.

    A place where if you have a governement project, it automatically means 'let's rob to the last drop'.

    A place where people will be condescending right to your face if you aren't evangelical christian, 'you are going to hell style', totally uncalled for.

    a place where one of those 5 dollar bottle openers you can get at target runs for 30 at a supermarket.

    A place where a bottle of jack Daniels is 70-80 dollars easily.

    A place were oligarchs openly and produly own everything, from the farms to the gucci shops.

    A place that if you want to ascend in your fashion modeling career, it means sucking or worse.

    A place that you cannot make out with your girlfriend in a car

    A place that if you arrive in a small town and try to run for office with a proper proposal to make change, the boss family will kill you.

    A place where small towns have politicians load vans with dollar bills and toss them around for votes

    A place where a politicians motto is "I steal but at least I will do something". The politician that was found guilty for having over 1 billion dollars in swiss bank accounts is still free and have been reelected in 2010 for a federal chair.

    A place that you will struggle to find good housing construction labor because you are offering 50-60 dollars a day for a guy to work like an animal building your mansion, meanwhile he rode his beater bibycle in, lives in the ghetto and will try as much as possible to slack to make an extra buck.

    A place where jailtime means sharing a 20' long shipping container with 50 guys defecating on the floor.

    A place that you can send your 5 year old to buy your beer or cigarettes at the bar unattended.

    A place where people watch billions in loans from the IMF or the World Bank disappear right under their noses and all people say is 'it is how politicians are'

    A place that opens up credit lines for NGOs and over 1 billion dollars disappear and NOBODY knows where the money went because it was not required for the organizations to report on their actions.

    A place that rich teens may drive without a license, because they know people.

    A place that you simply cannot be alone in the night in the city in deserted areas, like at a beach in a city, ever withotu risking participating in a crime scene.

    A place that until nmot too long ago, people were being kidnapped by the thousands on ATM at nite.

    A place where bank lines are massive, I mean get used to waiting 1 or 2 hours to deposit a check if you are poor. If you are rich there are special VIP branches.

    A place where sewage is not treated in 80% of the country, if not more.

    A place where you will absolutely get away with murder if you have money and you don't need Jonnie Cochran to assist your case.

    A place that people still email each other PPT presensations with motivational messages, over and over again.

    A place where if you leave your house unattended it will be stripped down to bare earth by crack users which scavenge around large cities for scraps to get their high.

    A place that stopping at a stop light at night is just not something you do. in fact, if you see a person getting too close, running them over is an option.

    A place that being in a traffic jam in a city in RIo de Janeiro is a kidnapping, murder and armed robbery risk.

    A place that thieves pretend to be police doing routine roadblocks and will rob you even your kidneys if they could.

    A place that rips tourists off OPENLY and PROUDLY.

    A place that will tax your car between 2 and 5% of its value per year depending on the state + 10% of its value for insurance if you get the good stuff. it means that if you own a 100 thousand dollar mercedes, you can be paying 15 thousand dollar a year in fees just to drive a nice car.

    A place that you cannot return goods once they are bought, money back is almost nonexistent. Exchanges exist sometimes, if the product is unopened.

    A place that makes sure that small business to fail, by overcharging in taxes and having the world's most insane tax system. In real life, it means you are forced to pay employeess under the table which in turn can easily sue you if they feel like it for not doing something you could not do to begin with.

    A place that sexual harassment and flirting is the same thing really.

    A place that you can watch large corporations pollute on a catasthrofic scale and nobody does anything about it. In the city I live, the country's largest steel pelleting company lets iron powdery particles pollute the lungs and homes of entire state. It means that everywhere you walk in a city of over 1 million people, your feet will be laced in lovely iron ore powder.

  50. sasidhar

    the information you provided really bewildered me about all the points you posted i hardly knew nothing. Your points can be made into a new doc.real man, they worth it.And thanks for enlightening me coz i have plans to study in brazil.

  51. Sergio

    Awesome doc!!!

  52. Leonardo


    A place that a toyota corolla is an executive car worth 50 grand.

    A place where staged morality is life, where all girls are expected to pretend to be virgins while boys are pushed to be stallions. Imagine the tension.

    A place where owning a armored mercedes is what mercedes ownership is.

    A place that if you think glen Beck is crazy... think again. Brazil has at least 100 of Glen's competing to see whos got the biggest evangelical temple in town.

    A place that it is illegal to own a gun as a private citizen and cops make 500 dollars a month to risk their lives.

    A place that I was kidnapped, my sister was kidnapped, my cousin was kidnapped.

    A place that your maid makes 250USD a month to work 50 hour weeks and is happy to do so.

    A place that you can live in a half a million dollar condo and your maid lives in a shack that gets flooded by the exposed sewage pipelines and she still calls her bosses Maddam and Sir after ironing their underwear all day.

    A place where middle class means financing your cheap little fridge in 36 installments and spending 50% of yoru income on a 20 thousand dollar Fiat Panda.

    A place that beauty is everything and a little more.

    A place that a pair of nikes can cost 400 bucks.

    A place where McDonalds is for rich people.

    A place where Dominos Pizza is for the rich and it costs 20 dollars.

    A place that you can tell poor people feel inferior to you, kind of like Montezuma giving COrtés gold because he was thiking he was God.

    A place that has more law schools than the rest of the world combined.... and that also applies to morons.

    A place that you can buy a playboy cover model for cash.
    Google mclass escorts and see what I mean.

    A place where kids expect their parents to pay for everything until they get married.

    A place that the social lines are clear and people are prejudice over your wealth and color. If you are rich and white your friends will look funny at you if you bring a girl to the party that looks like she is not from european descent.

    A place were cheating on your women is a way of life, to the point that it is kind of 'gay' not to in some places.

    A place where girls pretend their boyfriends aren't cheating and all they talk about how 'man are all the same'.

    A place where the corporate media machine rules all minds.

    A place where your senator works 3 days a week and gets paid 3 extra months worth of salary per year and if he lives in another state a private jet flies him back and forth.

    A place where the state governor uses a chainsaw to kill an adversary and gets re-elected.

    A place that if you don't practice tax evasion as a small business, you actually end up owning the government more money than your gross revenue was.

    A place filled with people that wants lots for as little intellectual effort as possible.

    A place where credit card interest rate is 24%... a month.

    A place where your cell phone plan still 50 cents to a dollar per minute.

    A place that sold the idea that sex is easy and hot, but it is not unless if you pay for it and girls are usually prudes.

    A place where you can still go to the country and marry a 16 year old when you are 40 and wealthy.

    A place that you can buy an acre of forest for 2 dollars and burn it all so you can put half a cow on it.

    A place where people dream to work for the government so they cannot get fired ever, get to enjoy lifetime benefits, full salary retirement, while pretending to work as little as possible"

    A place where politicians get elected without knowing how to read or write.

    A place where if u park your car and don't give 5 dollars to the minor watching out for it, it will spot lovely scratches.

    A place that if you ask your cashier to cash out 1000 dollars and you only have 50 in your account, she will cash it on credit without telling you.

    A place where the roads are so bad you must have a truck otherwise your car is ruined and so is your back.

    A place that it is almost certian you will see an accident on the highway.

    A place where people learn world culture from giving themselves trips to Disney Land for their 40th birthday.

    A place that going to a football match means risking having a urine bath from the stands above.

    A place that eating sushi is 2 dollars a piece, and that is cheap.

    A place that you need to ride 2 hours each way on a bus standing up filled with stinky sweaty people to get to work late.

    A place that if you break your leg at 2 AM you are likely to be sleeping at a hospital corridor with a couple of beggars overdosing on crack.

    A place that 12 year olds in the guetto are giving oral sex for 50 cents, buying crack for a dollars and other goodies for a 2 bucks.

    Now.... none of that matters if you rich for then life is wonderful.

  53. Imightberiding

    @Reasons Voice
    Ditto for me. What you said. I too would like to see more docs on Brazil. I would add however that industry, from the primary through to the tertiary stages, due in most part as you mentioned from trade is strongly represented in that country. A good example albeit controversial at best, would be some of the largest dams in the world.

    I'm fairly new to this site so forgive me if I get this wrong. Is it Vlatco? My apologies if that is incorrect, but thanks for this doc & in advance for future ones on Brazil (actually, Mexico too). Contemporary topics if possible please. Thanks again.

  54. sasidhar

    this is a great doc u.It really sees through the eyes of the slave.These kind of documentaries should be encouraged. nice addition.

  55. Reasons Voice

    This was an interesting doc. I was already aware of the more prolonged utilization of slave trade by the portugese in their colonies but not of the extent. Would not mind seeing a closer look at modern day Brazil either. They are developing but it seems that they are doing so with little industry and more trade which leads to even deeper socio/economic stratification than in industrializing nations.

  56. MIchael22541

    First time I have ever seen anything on the History of Brasil, and I loved every minute of it. Thank you for posting!!

  57. Juancho

    I've always been interested in Brasil's culture, especially now considering their economy is rising and rising. They bought Burger King for God's sake haha. Excellent Doc, if you're interested in the subject, like me. :)