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Capoeira in popular culture


Dec 16, 2021

The Brazilianmartial art of capoeira, noted for its acrobatic movements and kicks, has often been featured in and influenced popular culture.

Capoeirista performing an Aú Batido

. . . Capoeira in popular culture . . .

Capoeira and capoera mestres have been featured in several Brazilian films and documentaries including:

  • Cordão de Ouro (1977), a futuristic Brazilian movie, stars several well-known Mestres, such as Nestor Capoeira and Mestre Camisa.[1]
  • Capoeira of Brazil (1980) is a documentary short by Warrington Hudlin, featuring Mestres Jelon Vieira, Loremil Machado and Eusebio da Silva.[2]
  • Mestre Bimba: A Capoeira Illuminada (2006) is a documentary about Mestre Bimba and capoeira.[3]
  • BESOURO (2009) is based on the story of a legendary fighter and practitioner in Capoeira history who goes by the same name as the title starring Aílton Carmo as Besouro. It includes extensive capoeira fighting scenes.[4][5][6]

Capoeira has been a focus of several martial arts films, including:

  • Rooftops (1989), a film featuring two homeless teenagers who use dance fights inspired by capoeira to settle arguments and as a form of entertainment.[7]
  • Only the Strong (1993), a film following a former Green Beret turned teacher in Miami who uses capoeira to teach his students discipline and ultimately faces off with the local gang.[8] It is considered the only Hollywood film to focus entirely on capoeira. Much of the film’s fight choreography was created by Mestre Amen Santo.[9]
  • Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor (1994) which featured a tournament with fighters of many styles, including a capoerista played by Mestre Amen Santo.[10]
  • The Quest (1996), a martial arts tournament film featured a capoerista played by Mestre Cesar Carneiro.[11]

Other films featuring capoeira include:

  • Many of Wesley Snipes‘ action films include scenes involving capoeira, as it is one of several martial arts he practices.[12]
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, capoeira is one of several African martial arts that T’Challa utilizes in combat.[13]

. . . Capoeira in popular culture . . .

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. . . Capoeira in popular culture . . .