The Violin Teacher

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Brazil | 2015 | 100 minutes | Sérgio Machado

A former child prodigy reluctantly begins teaching music to youth in a troubled São Paulo neighborhood and discovers the transforming power of music, passion, and purpose in this inspiring Brazilian film based on a true story.

Friday, May 20, 2016

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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The musical career of violinist Laerte (Lázaro Ramos, Madame Sata) has not gone as planned. His once-in-a-lifetime audition with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra is a spectacular failure, and with bills piling up, an offer to teach a high school violin class in São Paulo's notorious Heliopolis neighborhood cannot be turned down. Reluctant and defensive, Laerte anticipates trouble in this tough environment and finds it. Unruly, untrained, and unable to read music, his students carry the weight of the favela on their young shoulders, yet through it all a passion and purpose begins to emerge for teacher and students alike. With the program's future resting on an upcoming concert and the pressures of gang violence and police brutality growing louder offstage, Laerte's greatest performance might simply be in bringing a glimmer of hope into their lives, as well as his own. Acclaimed writer/director Sérgio Machado (Lower City) gives the classic "inspirational teacher" narrative a fresh energy in this lively and affecting film. Neatly balancing a classic character arc with a tough grit, The Violin Teacher is a crowd-pleaser with a conscience.

Director Biography
Sérgio Machado is a Brazilian film director and screenwriter. His film Cidade Baixa was screened in the "Un Certain Regard" section at the 2005 Cannes Film Festiva, while The Violin Teacher won the 2015 Audience Award at the Sao Paulo Film Festival.

Sponsored by AARP of Washington

  • Original Language Title: Heliópolis
  • Director: Sérgio Machado
  • Principal Cast: Lázaro Ramos, Kaique Jesus, Elzio Vieira, Sandra Corveloni, Fernanda de Freitas
  • Country: Brazil
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 100 minutes
  • Producer: Caio Gullane, Fabiano Gullane, Débora Ivanov, Gabriel Lacerda
  • Screenplay: Maria Adelaide Amaral, Marcelo Gomes, Sérgio Machado, Marta Nehring
  • Cinematographers: Marcelo Durst
  • Editors: Márcio Hashimoto
  • Music: Alexandre Guerra, Felipe de Souza
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Sao Paulo Film Festival 2015 (Audience Award)
  • Filmography: Aqui Deste Lugar (doc, 2015); The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell (2010); Lower City (2005); At the Edge of the Earth (doc, 2001); 3 Histórias da Bahia (2001)
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Films Boutique