There was a time when the selection of Brazilian films to watch on Netflix (outside Brazil) was extremely small. Today it’s a different story – Netflix has added a lot more Brazilian titles to its library.
I’ve compiled 30 Brazilian films to watch on Netflix (available in the UK) (plus some Brazilian Series) with a synopsis and a trailer. Although all of these films have English subtitles on Netflix, for some of them I couldn’t find subtitled trailers on YouTube, so I had to add the original trailer (good listening practice!).
Here’s my list:
1. All the Reasons to Forget
A Brazilian man tries to get over the recent breakup of a long-term relationship and is surprised to learn it’s more difficult than he thought it would be.
2. Nothing to Lose
Evangelical leader Edir Macedo – founder and spiritual leader of The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God – overcomes obstacles and turmoil in pursuit of his religious conviction
3. Nothing to Lose 2
As controversy surrounds the evangelical church he helped found, Edir Macedo must juggle betrayals, politics and personal loss in this biopic sequel.
4. Forever Chape
Forever Chape tells the story of the soccer team Chapecoense, from Santa Catarina, Brazil. A club with an incredible spirit that didn’t stop and in honour of the victims and the survivors of the tragedy, the club today looks reborn.
5. Radical – The Controversial Saga of Dadá Figueiredo
Dada Figueiredo is the biggest anti-hero in Brazilian surf history. RADICAL RIO tells the story of a poor boy who trades the streets of the suburbs for the waves of Rio de Janeiro most popular surf spot at the 70s. Controversial and polemical, Dada is the living proof that neither victory nor defeat is eternal.
6. Vai Anitta
Go Behind the scenes with Brazilian pop icon Anitta, along with her friends and family, as she aims to create a new song and music video each month.
7. The Edge of Democracy
Political documentary and personal memoir collide in this exploration into the complex truth behind the unravelling of two Brazilian presidencies.
8. Paradise Lost
Marked by losses and mismatches, José’s eccentric family seek to be happy while locked in Paraíso Perdido, a nightclub that has stopped in time, where they sing popular romantic music.
9. A New Capitalism
How to live in a world with social inequality? Entrepreneurs of Brazil, India, and Mexico found an alternative: to build a new capitalism, more just and human, with profitable businesses and, at the same time, eradicate poverty.
10. The Birth Reborn
The feature film ‘ The Birth Reborn’ portrays the serious obstetric reality in the world, which is characterized by an alarming number of cesarean or deliveries with traumatic and unnecessary interventions. Through the reports of some of the leading experts in the area and the latest scientific discoveries, the film questions the current obstetric model, leads to a reflection on the new paradigm of the twenty-first century and the future of a civilization born without the so-called ‘love hormones’, released only under specific conditions of labor.
11. Confessions of a Brazilian Call Girl
A young woman abandons her adopted family to become a high-priced prostitute in São Paulo, and documents her new life on a popular blog.
12. Chatô – The King of Brazil
The romanticized life of media mogul Assis Chateaubriand depicts him as the star of a televised trial, where his passions and achievements are judged.
The final holdout in her historic beachside building in Brazil, a retired music critic refuses to sell her apartment to developers bent on demolition. Aquarius is more of a character study, and it can be a bit slow. But the excellent performance by Sonia Braga more than makes up for the film’s shortcomings.
14. Nise: The Heart of Madness
In this drama based on a true story, a psychiatrist rejects electroshock therapy to treat schizophrenia and encourages her patients to create art. I haven’t seen this yet, but it’s high on my list. Gloria Pires is one of my favourite actresses and the films have won several awards.
In Catholic 19th-century France, professor Léon Rivail attends a séance and is moved to find spiritism, putting him in the authorities’ sights.
The first Brazilian documentary on Netflix gives us an insight into the life and career of Laerte, one of the most promising cartoonists in Brazil.
17. Felipe Neto – My Life Makes No Sense
YouTube sensation Felipe Neto brings the stories from his autobiographical book “ão Faz Sentido!” to the stage in this comedy special.
18. The Last Hangover
In this biblical “Hangover” spoof, the apostles awaken to find Jesus is missing and must piece together events of the previous night’s wild Last Supper. Made by the comedians from “Porta dos Fundos” YouTube channel.
19. Marco Luque – Tamo Junto
Growing up in a Rio de Janeiro slum, Rocket is able to avoid being drawn into a life of drugs and crime by having a passion for photography. Amongst all the Brazilian films to watch on Netflix, this one is a must – a modern classic not to be missed.
20. City of God: 10 Years Later
A decade after the seminal Brazilian film “City of God”, this documentary reunites some of the cast and crew to find out what paths their lives took.
When a fashion blogger falls for a video game vlogger, their romance goes viral. But separating their virtual life from reality gets complicated.
22. Couples Counseling
A seasoned couples therapist comes to realize she might need help with her own marriage after meeting a new pair of young clients.
In this documentary, the director remembers a beloved sister who left behind her life in Brazil and moved to New York with dreams of acting.
24. Operações Especiais
In a crime-plagued area of Rio de Janeiro, a team of honest cops, including a determined rookie, fights corruption and mistrust on all sides.
25. Rafinha Bastos: Ultimato
An off-colour joke nearly cost him everything. Brazilian comic Rafinha Bastos talks about that and much more, from his divorce to finding love again.
26. Stronger than the World (Mais Forte que o Mundo)
A tough upbringing, natural-born fighter Jose Aldo confronts his personal demons in his quest to become an MMA Champion in this sports biopic.
During Carnival, two teens from different classes meet years after being kept apart. Bad decisions lead the boy to hide with the girl inside a float.
28. Another Forever
Overtaken by the death of her beloved, a grieving woman decides to take a spontaneous trip to visit her friend and get her life back on track.
29. Back and Forth
When their car breaks down en route to São Paulo, a father and son accept a ride from four beautiful telemarketers who are headed there on holiday.
30. The Killer
In lawless badlands, reclusive Cabeleira sets out to discover the fate of his gunman father and grows to be a feared assassin himself.
BONUS – BRAZILIAN SERIES ON NETFLIX
1. The Mechanism
Another Series – When a police task force uncovers a widespread corruption scheme involving the Brazilian government and several prominent engineering firms, a scandal erupts in the South American country. After detective Marco Ruffo breaks open the case after chasing down money launderer Roberto Ibrahim but is unable to gather enough evidence to nail him, Ruffo’s partner Verena Cardoni picks up the case years later. The series — from “Narcos” creator José Padilha — is loosely inspired by true events.
Samantha Alencar was a child star in the 1980s, but time hasn’t been kind to her career since then. Hoping to launch herself back into the spotlight, Samantha tries to cling to the fringes of celebrity through harebrained schemes. When her ex returns to her after being released from prison, she begins to think she can benefit from the situation. Samantha later experiences the 21st-century version of fame by serving as a judge on a singing competition show and trying to gain followers on social media.
4. Most Beautiful Thing
5. The Chosen One
6. Killer Ratings
6. Nobody’s Looking
The first new guardian “angelus” in 300 years is added to the Angelus System. But his inquisitive nature disrupts the system’s rule-governed order.
A wounded Rita feels guilty about Cacau. Nando gets in trouble with law enforcement and Doni confronts Dondoka about stealing his music.
An honest lawyer reaches a moral crossroads after the cops force her to inform on her incarcerated brother, the leader of a rising criminal faction.
Do you watch Brazilian films and series regularly as a way to practice your listening skills? Do you find it hard to understand Brazilians? Check out this post, where I show you how to improve your listening skills and some strategies to make the most of Brazilian films to maximise your learning:
And let me know in the comments: What’s your favourite Brazilian film of all time?