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Top 7 Movies To Learn About South America

October 24, 2011



1) City Of God
If you want to learn about Brazil and the struggles in one of the most dangerous cities, Rio de Janeiro, this is a great film. While it is in Portugese with subtitles, reading isn’t cumbersome as the action grabs you from the start.

A story of growing up with gangs in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Brazil, City of God will keep you on your toes. This critically acclaimed movie gives you a realistic view of what it was like to grow up in the slums in the 1970s and 80s. It will tug at your heart and hopefully make you want to learn more.

2). Evita
The 1996 film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. This film starring Madonna captures the real life of Eva Duarte de Perón, who started as the illegitimate daughter of a poor farmer but rose to become the wife of a former Argentinian president.

As a musical the film is almost completely performed in song, but it beautifully recounts Eva’s ambition and her rise to become one of the most powerful, beloved and hated figures in Argentina. If you are heading to Argentina, and the famous Recoleta Cemetery where she is buried, this is a must-see.

3. Alive
Based on a 1974 book by Piers Paul Reed, this book recounts the true story of a Uruguayan rugby team who resorted to desperate measures to stay alive after a plane crash in the Andes in the 1970s. Starring Ethan Hawke, if you are visiting the Andes, or flying over them you may not want to watch this film. However, this is a heart-wrenching story of the will to survive.

4. The Motorcycle Diaries
On almost every list for best travel movies, this film tells the story of Che Guevara’s great journey with his best friend Alberto Granado before he became “Che.” The two friends hopped on a repair-ridden motorcycle to discover South America and it is where he realized that while he was from a privileged family, there were many in South America who had nothing.

You will be wooed by the magnificence of the landscape and fueled by this is a trip of a lifetime that inspired the young man to take action in his life.

5. Che
The story of Ernesto Guevara once he became ‘Che”. If you’re heading to South America it’s a good idea to have a primer on Che, he isn’t front and center other than on tourist t-shirts but certainly help shape the land.

This is a massive two-part biography featuring Benicio del Toro, with the first part focusing on the Cuban revolution and the second on his efforts to liberate Bolivia and his ultimate death.

6. 180 Degrees South
While this is a documentary, it is anything but boring. The adventurous Jeff Johnson decides to retrace the 1968 journey of his idols Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard South to Patagonia.

Although the original journey is overland, Johnson takes on the task of sailing and all the difficulties it entails. It begins as a great traveling adventure but as Johnson becomes more aware of the environmental issues in Chile, the story takes a turn. While those traveling to Chile should see the film, it is a great story for anyone interested in adventure.

7. Moonraker
(c) MGM Perhaps one of the less obvious movies to watch, this James Bond film with Roger Moore starts off as story about the theft of a space shuttle only to turn into a fight against the and discovers a plot to destroy the world’s popular and begin with one race.

Bond is on a chase around the world, including Brazil to stop the bad guys from their evil plot. Perhaps not the most accurate depiction of Brazil, but a very amusing story.


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