What Makes Brazil Brazil?

Brazil from afar, and even here, differs in the conceptions of different people. It’s like the story of the blind men and the elephant. From afar people tend to mentally grasp the images of Carnival in Rio…beautiful women in smatterings of colorful feathers, or the vast Amazon rain forest. Or they grasp the endless stories of corrupt politicians, and societal chaos beginning at the tiptop of the elitocracy…

But to really grasp a place is to penetrate the minutiae of everyday life, and we submit as one example (there will be others) this felicitous shot from the film O Mistério do Samba — The Mystery of Samba — where Argemiro Patrocínio (now with God; Argemiro was one of the wonderful musicians in the Velha Guarda da Portela) and friends were doing something so common here, singing together in a simple bar, when a woman with groceries passed by: