Full blast, non-stop
The hit documentary about Rio’s baile funk scene finally gets it’s DVD release
Since it’s release in 2008, Favela on Blast has toured more than 45 film festivals in 21 countries around the world. Directed by Leandro HBL and Wesley Pentz (a.k.a DJ/producer Diplo), the film is a portrait of the funk carioca / baile funk subculture of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
“In Brazil people have a lot of prejudice about funk, they think it’s pornographic and stupid. At the same time the police think that funk attracts criminals. This is true but funk is the soundtrack for the lives of the whole community, not just the criminals”, Leandro explains. “Still, attitudes are changing. And funk is maturing a lot and becoming more accepted.”
In much the same way that capoeira and samba were both once prohibited before becoming integral parts of Brazilian culture, baile funk’s now gaining acceptance amid society. In 2008 the federal government of Rio state passed a law that made it virtually impossible to organise funk parties, only to be repealed in 2009 and a new law introduced that defined funk as a “cultural and musical expression of popular character”, giving it greater protection. “Baile funk is an important part of community life; it’s here to stay,” says Leandro.
Favela on Blast is a colourful, vibrant journey through the favelas, introducing the movement’s main players, and those with an open mind will no doubt enjoy the ride.
Two of Baile Funk’s heroes
By James Hurrell
Favela on Blast