Time Out says
It begins, of course, with Brazilian musicians Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso – on stage and in exile in 1969, pronouncing the death of Tropicalism. Then we track back to learn how this uniquely Brazilian movement grew out of bossa nova, indigenous folk and rock ’n’ roll, gradually spreading and incorporating psychedelia, funk, experimental film, art, design and literature, until its popularity became a direct threat to the country’s increasingly repressive regime. This enjoyable doc is undermined by a handful of strange stylistic choices. There’s very little background detail, particularly about the political situation and how it affected the key players – the reasons for Gil and Veloso’s 1968 prison terms are barely touched upon. More frustratingly, none of the songs are subtitled, even when the lyrics are introduced as having special poetic or political resonance. Still, the story is fascinating, the music is glorious – a French TV clip of Veloso playing acoustic is breathtaking – and the film looks beautiful, incorporating home movie footage, faded old photographs and a lovely, handmade design aesthetic.