Brasil Brasil! “Part 2: Tropicalia Revolution” (BBC Documentary)

The second programme in the series covers the military era in Brazil, from 1964-85, and discusses the role that musicians played in leading the fight-back – and how they suffered as a result. The era began with the left-wing protest movement headed by singers like Nara Leao, that was matched against rival styles that ranged from the passionate singing of Elis Regina to the rousing pop songs of Jorge Ben – with television song contests developing into a battle-ground between supporters of different styles.

All this changed in the late Sixties, with the emergence of the experimental tropicalia movement, determined to shake up Brazil just as military hardliners took control of the government. The programme chronicles the careers of the tropicalia stars, from Os Mutantes to Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, who were both jailed and exiled to Britain (and includes never shown footage of them both performing at the Isle of Wight festival). It describes the military censorship campaign against such leading musicians as Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, and even Jorge Ben. And it shows how black musicians in Bahia state responded by developing new, and often militant black styles like samba-reggae.

Writer and Producer: Robin Denselow