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Backed by a massive sound system pulsing with peak-volume bass beats, Mr Catra's sex and crime obsessed music speaks about life in the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro and ongoing wars with criminal gangs and police. His lyrics are so explicit that the Brazilian police have coined the term 'Funk Proibido' and outlawed his music, Baile Funk, a remarkable hybrid music developed in the shantytowns. The music is programmed on cheap equipment and has a powerful impact. It cannibalises the lo-bit sound and simplistic beat programming of early electro and hip-hop, the booty-shaking crudeness of Miami bass, the syncopated energy and melodic sensuality of Brazilian samba and rhythmically refined Portuguese raps.
For the millions of people residing in the slums, there is no bigger star of Baile Funk than Mr Catra. His followers are fervent in their passion for their hero's anthems of dope smoking, womanising and vigilante violence. Mr Catra refers to himself as 'The Faithful' - faithful to his large family, his religion and especially Comando Vermelho, the most powerful criminal organisation in Brazil.
D/P/S Andreas Johnsen WS Rosforth & Rosforth L Portuguese , Danish w/English subtitles TD video/col/2004/60mins
Andreas Johnsen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1974. [Mr Catra - The Faithful] (MIFF 05) is his first feature documentary.