The documentary “Favela Rising” tells us that while 467 kids were killed from 1987 to 2001 in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the number in Rio de Janeiro for the same period was 3,937. It was amid this violence that Anderson Sá, one boy from the favelas—Brazil's slums—decided to fight for peace. He found his most powerful weapons in the high-energy music of AfroReggae and in his community's furious pride.
As frontman for the band AfroReggae, “a group of destroyed people infected by idealism,” Sá was determined to offer an inspirational alternative to the drug culture of the favelas. Through local concerts and classes in dance, drumming, spoken word, and music, Sá and a growing movement began to “change our reality.”
Favela Rising, documentary, 2005, 80 min. Directed by Jeff Zimbalist. Filmed in Brazil. Portuguese with English subtitles. www.favelarising.com.
But hell is here, yes
Who would say, who would say
That the sky is full of empty fires
Why do we not live in peace?
We prefer to act as the worst of animals
But even animals are not thus
It is enough that I rebel
Resistance, I see,
Is made by few
But this number will grow
Free we will be, believe it, bet on it
Culture is the main instrument
Of strong change
This is our hope
Lyrics translated from Portuguese