You know how sometimes you learn, hear or see something that makes you realize just how big the world is and perhaps how much you still don’t know or haven’t discovered? I think this happens most often with music. In the States we’re obsessed with our pop, rock and hip-hop. We assume everyone else in the world is just as much enamored of it, yet I venture that only a small percentage of Americans have ever heard of Juanes, who is one of the most popular musicians in all of Latin America.
Similarly, I had never heard of Zezé di Camargo & Luciano, let alone their music, when I saw a screening of “2 Filhos de Francisco” (Two Sons of Francisco) last week for my Portuguese language class. Turns out brothers Zezé and Luciano comprise Brazil’s most famous sertanejo (hinterlands or Brazilian country music) duo with more than 22 million records sold. Did you even know there was a such a thing as Brazilian country music? Because I (naively) didn’t. Fun fact: Their 1994 album features a collaboration with the iconic Willie Nelson.
(Below is a video of the duo performing the song that catapulted them to stardom: É O Amor. Translation: It’s love.)
The film, which premiered in 2005, was the highest-grossing movie ever in Brazil and the country’s Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s a true rags-to-riches story about a poor, rural family and a father’s — at times seemingly delusional — dream for his sons to become country music stars. The two-hour movie is beautifully done; it’s touching, surprising and inspiring, but never seems forced. Just as beautiful is the stunning scenery of Brazil’s lush, open countryside.
“2 Filhos de Francisco” is a film one can appreciate on many different levels, whether for pure entertainment, a gripping story, a social commentary on the country or the authentic representation of Brazilian culture, all of which make it universally appealing. And as expected, the movie has a great soundtrack.
Below is the trailer for the film, sans subtitles, unfortunately, but I’m confident you’ll get the gist.
–Karina for TKGO