O Zelador (The Caretaker), this intelligent and lovingly crafted documentary is a definitive look at the culture of Capoeira and both its contemporary and historical relevance as a social force. The intimidating Baixada Fluminense neighbourhood in Rio's tough suburbs is the home to Jonas Rabelo, a.k.a. Master Russo, a street Capoeira veteran and highly respected master of the art. A remarkable and engaging individual, at an early age Russo discovered the value of Capoeira. In 1973 at the height of Brazil's difficult military dictatorship, Russo was part of a group of youths who created the now famous Capoeira street Roda of Caxias. This traditional manifestation of Capoeira has passed through four decades fraught with poverty and danger, using culture to fight against social exclusion and emerging today as a unique example of this Afro-Brazilian phenomenon. The director, Daren Bartlett, has created an intimate portrait of Russo, his wife, sons and his loyal group of students who offer willing testimony to the fact that Russo's love, knowledge and guidance have been an inspiration. The film is ably supported by expert use of a wealth of archive footage and world premiered at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. A fascinating and stirring work.

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Cast & Crew

Jonas Rabelo
Daren Bartlett
Abigail Clarke


Bantam Films
© 2007 Bantam Films


Portuguese (Stereo)

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