The city and port of Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil until the new Federal capital of Brasilia was inaugurated in 1960.
The city and port of Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil until the new Federal capital of Brasilia was inaugurated in 1960. The total population of Rio is about 3 3/4 million. This film follows the activities of twelve-year-old boy named Jorge who lives in one of the "favelas" -- the slum areas of the city.
Owing mainly to the failure of transport in the suburban areas to develop in step with the expansion of the city, the favelas now cover many of the slopes overlooking the centre of the town. The population of these areas is well over half-a-million people.
Jorge is seen in the favela with his mother, playing football with the other children and going off to do his shoe-shine job on Copacabana Beach. Most of the people in the favelas are near to poverty; the cost of living in Brazil is extremely high. During his two years in office President Castello Branco has introduced economic reforms which have ben successful in easing the country's serious inflation problem.
Jorge is shown taking time off from shoe-cleaning for a swim at Copacabana one of the world's most beautiful beaches. He also joins the favela band when it marches into Rio for the annual Carnival.
There is music and natural sound effects throughout the film.
SYNOPSIS: Fine buildings that sweep up the sunbaked hills and mountainsides lend a distinctive charm to Rio de Janeiro, known as one of the world's most carefree cities. Nearly four million people live in Brazil's former capital. Half-million of them still inhabit slum areas called favelas which are mostly situated on the slopes overlooking the town.
Jorge Conseicao and his mother are newcomers to this hillside favela -- driven out of their previous home by floods in Rio. Now they live in little more than a two-room shanty. But for the Conceicaos', like many others, the favela is convenient -- close to work, school and town centre.
Twelve-year-old Jorge's home is perched on the edge of a stone quarry. He is not allowed to jump about inside the house because it's too dangerous. But Jorge gets all the jumping and running he wants playing football. He wants to be a soccer star when he grows up.
One problem of playing football in the favela is that the ball is often kicked over the cliff, sailing down to the stone quarry below. It takes nearly an hour to go down there and get ti back.
Down below in the quarry, workers are blasting away at the rock.
Ironically, the blasting is taking place on the very hill on which the workers' homes are perched. Jorge's father works here. For a seven-day week he earns just under four pounds -- a better than average wage for labourers in Rio. The work is dangerous, dirty and hot but it pays the rent and buys black beans and rice for his family.
There are 168 steps down from the favela into the centre into of town. Jorge goes up and down them at least six times a day. He is now off across town to his job as roving shoe-shine boy on Copacabana Beach. He charges only a few pennies for a shoe-clean, but if he's lucky to find an American tourist the price is more than doubled.
Jorge can earn ten shillings in a twelve-hour day. Much of his business is provided by the pavement cafes where the Cariocas - the name given to Rio's inhabitants - idle away the hours in the sun.
President Castello Branco is featured in a magazine article which discusses his economic reforms aimed at easing the country's inflation problem. When he came to power two years ago the cost of living was rising by 144 per cent a year. Today, it's down to around 60 per cent a year.
But the cost of living is still extremely high and even paying of a shoe-shine becomes a complicated transaction.
Even with the Atlantic breeze, Rio is hot. the shoe-shine business is not profitable on the beach itself, but the beach holds other attractions for sun and music-loving Brazilians like Jorge ... the lure of the ocean is more than he can resist.
A warm sea, constant sunshine and beautiful surroundings -- all help to make the Cariocas uninhibited in their enjoyment of life. As one Brazilian writer put it: we have the sea to wash off our worries, and the sun to dry our tears.
Most Brazilian women have a strong religious faith. The church in the favela where Jorge lives has been there for generations. The women pray here for a little more food, or for a sick child. They also offer a prayer when the quarry explosions frighten them.
When it's Carnival time in Rio the band from its way into town for the Samba parade. The Carnival as it is today began about a hundred years ago when a shoemaker made a special drum, and marched down from his favela into the city, followed by thousands of singing, dancing children.
The Carnival: four days of the year when the Samba pulsates through the city and the musicians and dancers are King. Even the poorest in Rio's favelas spend more money on a costume or make-up for the Samba Parade. All traffic is banned as the singing, shuffling bends and dancers roam the streets all night.
The floats depict everything from the discovery of Brazil to King Neptune or 88 years of Samba. Countless thousands of pounds are spent on costumes and floats. This year the parade began at eleven at night and went on until noon the next day.
A few exhausted stragglers sleep off the effects of the world's wildest party -- the Carnival is over for 1966. The rich go back to their estates; the poor to their favelas. Jorge, like the others, returns to reality with the aching muscles and tired eyes. He is soon back to his family and the daily struggle to survive. But Jorge is happy -- there is always the sun and Copacabana Beach.