The book Cinema for Portuguese Conversation is a great resource to make your Portuguese lessons even more fun and take your Portuguese practice further. The book uses 14 Portuguese-language movies, almost all Brazilian, to help you acquire vocabulary, develop your writing skills, and advance your speaking fluency.
In this post I will first describe the book in more detail. Then I will tell you how you can benefit from it. I hope this will help you make an informed decision should you decide to get Cinema for Portuguese Conversation.
Full disclosure: The links to the book are Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you go to Amazon.com using the link and you make a purchase, I make a tiny commission. This does not affect the price you pay. And I do really like this book and I do really believe it is a great tool for Portuguese learners even though the movies in it are now dated.
How the Book is Organized
Cinema for Portuguese Conversation covers 14 Portuguese language movies organized in five sections:
Section 1 – O Sertão
- O Caminho das Nuvens (Title in English: The Middle of the World), 2003, Vicente Amorim
- Central do Brasil (Title in English: Central Station), 1998, Walter Salles
- Vidas Secas, 1963, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
- Wines of the Brazilian Sertão
- Lampião & Maria Bonita – Meet the Cangaceiros from the Brazilian Sertão
Section 2 – Urban Violence
- Carandiru, 2003, Hector Babenco
- Ônibus 174 (Title in English: Bus 174), 2002, José Padilha, Felipe Lacerda
- Cidade de Deus (Title in English: City of God), 2002, Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Section 3 – Political Transitions
- O Que é Isso, Companheiro? (Title in English: Four Days in September ), 1997, Bruno Barreto
- Terra Estrangeira (Title in English: Foreign Land), 1996, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas
- O Testamento do Sr. Napumoceno (1997), Franciso Manso
- Capitães de Abril (Title in English: April Captains), 2000, Maria de Medeiros
Section 4 – Women
- Dona Flor E Seus Dois Maridos (English title: Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands), 1976, Bruno Barreto
- Eu Tu Eles (English title: Me You Them), 2000, Andrucha Waddington
Section 5 – Myth of Orpheus
- Orfeu Negro (English title: Black Orpheus), 1959, Marcel Camus
- Orfeu, 1999, Carlos Diegues
What’s in Each Book Chapter
Each book chapter is about a different movie. Each chapter contains:
- General information about the movie: A short description and some info about the director and main actors, including other movies they have made.
- Movie Vocabulary: A glossary of key vocabulary in the book, with translation. It includes colloquial expressions and slang.
- Before the movie – Context: Information to help you understand the social, economic, and/or political context in which the story takes place.
- After the movie – Exercises: Lots of exercises to help you retain and expand vocabulary, develop writing skills, and advance speaking fluency.
- Cultural information: Each chapter brings additional information on cultural elements present in the movies, including celebrities mentioned, religion, politics, and pop Brazilian culture.
How You Will Benefit From Cinema for Portuguese Conversation
You will fully benefit from Cinema for Portuguese Conversation when you use it with professional instruction in your Portuguese lessons. I will explain why.
A good language instructor will make sure you get all that the book has to offer. Working with a good instructor you will be able to:
- Get deeper insights into each movie and its context. If you live in Brazil or want to develop strong connections with Brazilian stakeholders, this will be a great way to learn much more about Brazil while you practice your Portuguese.
- Make sure that you can correctly use the new words and expressions that you will learn. How many times have you learned a new word or expression only to find out that you are not using it correctly. Learning the meaning of a word or expression is often not enough in order to be able to use it right. A good instructor will make sure you really get the new words and expressions – and there will be a lot of them.
- Work on the writing activities in the book and get useful feedback on your writing. Writing forces your brain to think about the language in a different way. Even if your goal is conversation, I encourage you to also develop your writing skills. Cinema for Portuguese Conversation will offer you plenty of opportunity to do so in an interesting way: writing about the movie and related topics.
- Most of all, with an instructor you will be able to fully explore the conversation practice potential of the book. Cinema for Portuguese Conversation offers a ton of opportunities to advance your speaking skills.
Language Skills Needed
The book authors encourage learners at all levels to use the book. In my opinion you will benefit more from this book if you have intermediate or advanced Portuguese.
You can read customer reviews and check out the book using the Look Inside feature on Amazon.com.
By the way, you will find several of these movies available on YouTube for free.
For additional resources and book reviews for all levels of Portuguese, visit the articles below: