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The Road to Rio
Episode 3
Brazil With Michael Palin "The Road to Rio"
In the third part of his Brazilian odyssey, Michael Palin visits the source of Brazils great mineral wealth and then travels to one of the worlds greatest cities to see how this new-found wealth is being spent, changing the lives of millions of its inhabitants.Michael starts this leg of the journey in the mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais - General Mines. He visits an old gold mine once owned by the British, before going to see a vast opencast iron ore mine that is such a feature of the Minas landscape. Iron ore deposits that are fuelling Brazils economic miracle but there is always an environmental price to pay, and Michael meets some ordinary Brazilians who are dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the state. After Minas its down to Rio de Janeiro, host to the next Olympics and World Cup. Rio has always had a reputation as a party town but also has suffered from terrible violence, with heavily armed drug gangs controlling the notorious shanty towns or favelas that make up a large part of the city. Now, the authorities have decided to spend some of Brazils new money on healing the rift between the favelas and the rest of the city. The policy of pacification aims to drive the drug gangs out and fund new infrastructure and social programmes to make the favelas truly part of the city. Michael visits what used to be some of the most violent places on Earth to see how lives have been transformed by pacification.Michaels time in Rio isnt all about what is happening in the favelas. He also finds time to visit some of Rios best-known locations, learns how to celebrate a goal like a Brazilian radio commentator, and books a room in one of the citys infamous love hotels!
Added on February 24, 2021
The Deep South
Episode 4
Brazil With Michael Palin "The Deep South"
In the final episode of his travels through Brazil, Michael Palin finds many surprises as he encounters the rich diversity of the more European and Asian cultures that have created a new melting pot in the deep south of Brazil. In the picture-perfect town of Parati, set amidst the Mata Atlantica, he meets up with Prince Joao de Braganza, heir to the defunct throne of Brazil. The prince argues that the arrival of the Portuguese court in Brazil, who escaped from Napoleons occupation, did much to establish the institutions that have enabled Brazils economy to flourish. Michael visits Embraer, one of the recent high-tech success stories and now the worlds third-largest commercial aircraft manufacturer, and becomes part of the painting team there. He joins Carolina Ferraz, star of a galaxy of telenovellas, the immensely popular Brazilian soap operas, on the backlot of her most recent TV success, where issues of poverty fuel the storylines alongside the racier love triangles. Michael is then taken by her to the home of rap star, philospher and poet Criolo in the slums of Sao Paolo. He thinks the notion of social equality is distant dream for most Brazilians. Ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso gives a more optimistic vision.Whilst taking to the skies of Sao Paolo to avoid the hundred-mile traffic jams with mega-rich king of waste disposal Wilson Quintela, Michael learns that there are millions to be made from garbage. Travelling south to Blumenau and Pomerode, Michael finds German speakers - including model Priscilla Falaster, who dreams of becoming the next Giselle Bundchen - and tries his hand pulling steins from a mobile bierkeller. Bavarian schulplatte dancers and chance encounters with spiritualists including Marcello Paes Leme challenge his views on what makes a typical Brazilian.In the vast wetlands of the Pantanal, Michael catches a piranha, which is instantly turned into sushi. He helps the cowboys treat a calf attacked by a jaguar, and
Added on February 24, 2021