Director: Paulo Cezar Saraceni
Year: 1988 Minutes: 100
Language: Portuguese w/ English Subtitles
The name ‘Natal da Portela’ is historically attached to the cultural
identity of Brazil. Natal da Portela created the first escola
de samba in Rio de Janeiro. The schools of samba are the soul
of carnival in Brazil and major reservoirs of Afro-Brazilian culture.
The film depicts the life of Natal da Portela as a young man from
the favelas--the slums of the northern part of Rio de Janeiro--up
to the creation of “la Portela”, the school of samba he created.
The principal role played by Milton Goncalves, one of the major
Black actors in Brazil, gives the story an authentic flavor rarely
seen in films portraying the contemporary life of Black people
in Brazil. This is a film filled with joy, music and laughter.
“Natal da Portela” is also a film that narrates the story of contemporary
Brazil and the legacy of African people in that country. Several
other major actors enrich the story, Zeze Mota well known for
her role in “Quilombo” and the dean of Black Brazilian actors,
the great Grande Otello much remembered for his major role in
Rio Zona Norte and Macunaima just to mention a few titles.
35mm rental: $250
video sale: $90
DVD sale: $195