Directed by Mika Kaurismäki (brother of Finnish auteur Aki), this reverential doc centres on ‘choro’, a form of Brazilian music similar to jazz. Predating both samba and bossa nova, choro emerged in 1870s Rio de Janeiro, mirroring the Brazilian melting-pot in its weave of European, African and indigenous styles. Played, sung and danced, it fell from fashion in the ’70s and ’80s but is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
The digitally shot Brasileirinho has no real dramatic structure, Kaurismäki homing in on the rehearsals, jams and performances of the class-crossing, multi-generational musicians. They get their groove on in venues ranging from concert halls to trams and ferries. Alas, non-fans may find that the interviews disappoint: there’s no denying the players’ passion for choro (nor their instrumental skill), but a little delving into their lives beyond the music would’ve been fruitful.