‘Welcome To Rio’ BBC Two Documentary Series Goes Inside the Brazilian Favelas

Thamy Delicia on BBC Two's Welcome To Rio - Image Credit: BBC / Keo Films. Thamires Bastos

Thamy Delicia on BBC Two’s Welcome To Rio – Image Credit: BBC / Keo Films

Starting at 9:00pm on Tuesday the 27th of May, BBC Two’s new documentary series ‘Welcome To Rio’ takes a look at at life inside the Brazilian cities infamous favelas.

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup just around the corner, all eyes will soon be on the colorful and vibrant Rio de Janeiro. But with extraordinary access, this three-part series uncovers the reality of daily existence for the residents of these extensive slum neighborhoods.

Though despite the widespread poverty and harsh living conditions, viewers will discover these shanty-towns are also home to great resourcefulness, energy and humour.

In a process known as pacification, Brazil’s government is getting ready for this summers World Cup by attempting to take back control of the countries slums, and out of the hands of the numerous criminal gangs. Though this clamp down may solve many of the favelas issues, will the operation create more problems than it fixes?

Episode Guide – Air Date and Time

Episode 1/3 – Tuesday, 27 May at 9:00pm – BBC Two

Filmed in one of the first slums to be pacified, Cantagalo, this show follows resident Rocky, a delivery man working each day to support his family by carrying fridges, ovens and televisions up the favelas labyrinth of secret staircases.

If that isn’t already a tough enough way of life, Rocky must also deal with his wayward son Felipe, who’s currently caught up in the battle between law enforcement and the drug traffickers.

Episode 2/3 – Tuesday, 3 June at 9:00pm – BBC Two

The second show visits the favela Complexo da Maré where Carlos runs the local Resident’s Association. A few years ago he himself was a high-ranking drug trafficker, but after his wife Adrianna became pregnant with twins, this led him to take a more conventional career path. These days Carlos campaigns against the government’s incursions, especially if they come in with tanks and helicopters during his children’s school run.

Meanwhile, in the favela Complexo do Lins, Breguete has reached the finals of a dance competition. Should he manage to win, the prize money would be enough to build a house of his own, moving in with his girlfriend and two young children.

Episode 3/3 – Tuesday, 10 June at 9:00pm – BBC Two

The final episode of Welcome to Rio celebrates the resourcefulness of some of the cities poorest residents. Living on their wits, residents of these slums have become adept at exploiting any opportunities that come their way.

Rosie and husband Marcos used to work at Rio de Janeiro’s landfill, but after hearing it was going to close, the pair chose to start a recycling centre in their own backyard. Meanwhile down on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, favela entrepreneur Assis has a new business plan; while Jorge rakes the sand beneath the waves looking for valuables lost by tourists and rich locals.

Thamy Delicia (pictured above) is a rising star on the favela funk scene, but her provocative dancing and explicit lyrics mean she must clean up her act if she wishes to win the respect of her evangelical mother and find success in the wider world.

Soaking up the Brazilian sunshine while wearing a bikini which leaves very little to the imagination, here’s a preview video for episode 3 of Welcome To Rio. Here Thamy reveals how she likes to prepare for a favela beach party, with a little help from Brazil’s number 1 Chris Hollins lookalike, Tom: