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Gringo Favelado explores life in Rio's notorious favela communities through the eyes of three British expats who, despite alarming levels of poverty and violence, decided to call them home.
Venture deep inside the self-branded Marvellous City, beyond the veneer, at a critical point in Rio’s history. As the 2016 Olympics loom on the horizon, the city has been trying to tackle its chronic problems with violence by installing Pacifying Police Units inside the lawless favela (slum) communities. We journey through the lives of three gringos (British expats) who have all chosen a Rio favela as home. Some favelas are more peaceful than others and during this documentary we’ll find out why, despite a sometimes alarming level of danger, these Brits are here to stay.
Jody King, from the coast of Cornwall takes a group of visitors on a tour of Rocinha, South America’s biggest favela, where he lives and works as a tour guide. As we listen to Jody’s lighthearted guidance the local gang send up smoke signals in the background and the police begin to take position.
Bob Nadkarni from London built a home in the Tavares Bastos favela over 30 years ago and has managed to turn it into one of Rio’s premium jazz venues where he employs local residents. But Bob claims the mayor’s office wants a piece of the pie and is moving in to take it.
Tom Ashe from Doncaster moved to Rio for his love of Brazilian music and has made a home in Pereira da Silva favela where he’s dedicated his life to teaching local children brass instruments. If the kids don’t miss too many lessons during the frequent shootouts, they may have a chance at performing in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, which is a dream they push for each day with Tom behind them.
As we navigate the labyrinthine favelas we meet a young and determined police commander and several embattled favela residents who share why, despite varying threats, they stand by their communities in the complex and breathtaking city of Rio de Janeiro.