Rio Breaks (12A)
Friday 03 June 2011
A surf documentary in which the word "breaks" carries a fateful double meaning. Director Justin Mitchell celebrates the teenage wave-riders of Rio, but his real focus is the precarious fortunes of 13-year-old Fabio and his 12-year-old mate Naama, from the dangerous Favela do Pavao, a high-rise slum overlooking Arpoador Beach.
Both have lost family members to the brutal drug gangs who control the neighbourhood (nicknamed "Vietnam") and only the prospect of winning a sports sponsorship will prevent them from being recruited as "soldiers" in Rio's continuing war.
The picture of favela homelife is hugely depressing, though both boys brighten the mood with flashes of humour and a cavalier attitude to the ever-present possibility of death.
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