By Gabriela Godoi, Contributing Reporter

The cover of the historical album that was the breakthrough of the musical news in Brazil in 1967
The cover of the historical album ‘Panis et Circencis’ that marked the breakthrough of Tropicalia in Brazil in 1967.

RIO DE JANEIRO – The musical movement that changed the art form’s perspective in Brazil, Tropicália, is to be portrayed in a documentary produced by Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (City of God and Blindness) and British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People).

The film aims to investigate exactly why this movement was so important for the development of art in Brazil, and the world after it took hold in the 1960s.

The music and ideas created by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Mutantes and other artists involved in the project influenced many generations thereafter, and the movement is often quoted by the likes of American musicians like Beck, David Byrne, English band Super Fury Animals, and the deceased rock icon Kurt Cobain.

Meirelles himself claims to have been inspired by Caetano and others; “Their art had a great influence over me when I was younger, everything was more liberal”, he said in an interview with Variety magazine’s website.

The 1967 Tropicalia album ‘Panis et Circencis’ is quoted as the first appearance of the movement, but with its strong political edge constantly under the watchful eye of the military dictatorship at the time, some of the musicians involved had to leave Brazil and live in exile overseas.

Two of these, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, famously ended up in London, and this part of their lives and careers will be portrayed by the production team led by director Michael Winterbottom.

The documentary will also be co-produced by a new company Record Entertainment, an extension of Brazil’s TV Record channel, which has been fighting the all-powerful Globo TV for the country’s audience share with some success – they recently won the rights to exclusively show the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Marcelo Machado will be the director of the project, which will gather new interviews along with archive material from Record TV. They hope to release it in 2010 with narration in both English and Portuguese.


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