Brazil is a visually stunning country that offers many different types of backgrounds for filmmakers.
While the South American nation has a thriving film industry of its own, Brazil’s lush Amazon jungle, provocative white sand beaches, and colorful urban street life lend themselves naturally to the cinema.
License to Kill
As you tour Brazil, you are certain to discover places that look familiar to you because you have seen them before on the silver screen.
In Rio de Janeiro, the cable cars that climb up Sugarloaf Mountain were the setting for a famous battle between James Bond and the giant villain “Jaws” (Richard Kiel) in the 1979 film “Moonraker”, starring Roger Moore as 007.
In that same film, James Bond travels to the Amazonian rain forest, where he battles a giant anaconda and later leads a speed boat chase over Iguazu Falls, with the super spy escaping death at the last minute thanks to a hang glider he conveniently has hidden in his boat.
Rio de Janeiro’s Moment in the Spotlight
With its stupendous mountains and its flamboyant reputation, the city of Rio de Janeiro is a frequent setting for Hollywood movies. Recently, it’s been featured in the films “The Incredible Hulk” (2008) and “Fast 5” (2011).
Sao Paolo also has been the scene of many famous films, most notably “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (1985), starring William Hurt and the late Raul Julia.
Best Movie Set in Brazil
But possibly the best film shot in Brazil that most captures the true spirit of the nation is “City of God” (2002). This is one of the only Brazilian movies to have achieved success in the US and elsewhere.
It tells the story of a pair of friends growing up in the crime-ridden slum of Cidade de Deus, a real-life suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Although the film is violent and often profane, it offers an unflinching glimpse into the live of ordinary people growing up in an extraordinary place.