Brazilian cinema experienced a renaissance during the 1990s, following a period in which that country's film industry was all but dead (just five films a year were produced under president Collor de Mello). This revival – the Retomada do Cinema Brasileiro – took place at several locations around the country. Passages focuses mainly on São Paolo and the north-eastern region, Pernambuco. A fruitful cultural cooperation grew up between these very different regions. Pernambuco's musical and oral traditions were given an audio and visual stage by filmmakers such as Marcelo Gomes and Claudio Assis, whose works have regularly screened at IFFR.
Through interviews with filmmakers (from Tata Amaral to Kleber Mendonça Filho) and an extensive selection of film and musical fragments, the makers show how cinema offers a unique vision of the country's political and social reality. Music in particular, "the greatest of the Brazilian arts", is of inestimable importance.