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Capoeira on the big screen

November 22, 2009

It was high time capoeira were represented in the big screen in all its glory. A movie just released tells the story of Besouro (The Beetle), a true myth among those who practice the Afro-Brazilian martial art/ballet. The director João Daniel Tikhomiroff had a high budget for Brazilian standards – US$ 7 million -, spent in a production that embellishes an art that is, to begin with, extremely beautiful. Several actors are true capoeiristas and their fight scenes were coreographed by Huen Chiu Ku, that previously worked in “The Matrix”, “The Tiger and the Dragon” and “Kill Bill”.

The film is based on the book “Feijoada no Paraíso“, written by Marco Carvalho, a novel based on the life of the fighter, who lived in Bahia in the 20’s. The movie portraits the racial conflicts in the country, that had freed the slaves only three decades before. Besouro was known for his ability to fly and his corpo fechado – a supernatural protection obtained through candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion.  He also challenged the powerful landowners that had, and still have, lots of power in the region.

Ailton Carmo, the 22-year-old baiano that plays Besouro, never acted before, but has been practicing capoeira for most of his life. In a recent interview he remembers that, when he was 9, he watched an American movie called “Only the Strong” (Esporte Sangrento) that depicted a capoeirista (played by Mark Dacascos). He says he told his mother: “Mainha, one day I will represent my culture”. I wish Ailton and the film a happy international career.

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4 comments

  1. […] was high time capoeira were represented in the big screen in all its glory”, says Regina Scharf. She talks about a just released movie about the Afro-Brazilian martial art/dance. Watch […]


  2. too funny. “because he flies,” and there he goes, crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon style, freaking FLYING. love it, need to see it now. now. NEED. to. see. it. now. will re-post, thanks for the link :)


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cinema Minima, la mondo. la mondo said: trailer: Capoeira on the big screen: BESOURO by João Daniel Tikhomiroff http://j.mp/8stnqm (via @cinemaminima) […]


  4. […] also this post, about “Besouro”, a film about a famous capoeirista who defied gravity and the Devil. […]



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