Best Capoeira Movies

Capoeira by Pedro Ribeiro Simões
Capoeira by Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art “danced” to traditional berimbau music. Opponents “play” in a beautiful and deadly interaction. The art is hundreds of years old and was developed by decedents of slaves taken to Brazil. Slaves could be severely punished for learning to defend themselves, so the art developed as a dance, featuring powerful kicks and acrobatics.

  • Cordão de Ouro (1977): Set in a futuristic time period in Brazil, where Capoeira is central to the movie’s plot
  • Only the Strong (1993): First US movie to showcase Capoeira.
  • Pastinha! Uma Vida Pela Capoeira (1998): Documentary about Vicente Ferreira Pastinha aka Mestre Pastinha
  • Madame Sata (2002): Set in 1930s Rio de Janiero following a capoeirista street-fighter
  • Ginga: A capoeira documentary (2004)
  • Mestre Bimba, A Capoeira Illuminada (2005): Documentary of Mestre Pastinha
  • Maré Capoeira (2006): Short film about Capoeira
  • Capoeira: Finding a Center in the Ring (2008): Documentary about the challenges and rewards of the art
  • Besouro (The Assailant) (2009): Story of a legendary Capoeira fighter Beetle
  • Slums, Drums and Capoeira (2010): Documentary tracing Capoeira’s story from Salvador to today
  • Capoeira: Fly Away Beetle (2011): Story of three fighters in the early days after slavery