BBC Imagine: Rio

BBC Imagine: Rio
  • 2014
  • 1h 40min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Julien Temple

Julien Temple looks at the Brazilian city, on the cusp of hosting two of the world’s most high-profile events and fighting a war against drugs.

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BBC Imagine: Rio

Photo: Steve Organ

In this BBC Imagine world premiere, acclaimed filmmaker Julien Temple returns to our screens with an exhilarating look at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s legendary city.

Rio is on the cusp of hosting two of the world’s most high-profile events: the FIFA World Cup later this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016. Rio is a journey through the best and worst of an extraordinary city, powered and narrated by the music and voices of this Brazilian metropolis.

Many still think of Rio de Janeiro as a tropical paradise, an endless party where the sun, sex and samba never stops. However, behind the soaring thermometers and recent economic boom, lurks a much darker reality. Since the 1980s Rio has endured what has been described as a civil war, an ongoing fight between the police and the drug lords of the favelas. The city is still emerging from the legacy of a brutal military dictatorship and widespread corruption, remaining one of the most racially segregated cities on earth.

Flowing from its roots and rhythms in Samba, the music of Rio has reflected and directly influenced these tumultuous social and cultural changes in a way unlike anywhere else on the planet.

Rio is a living X-ray of its heartbeat and soul, a mesmerising portrait of a city at a time of unprecedented transformation.

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