Favela Redux

Remember when I posted a video clip thinking that my Rio favela was under attack? Like I mentioned, they were actually filming the movie Tropa de Elite 2 (from my shack’s window I couldn’t see the cameras or support staff). I recently stumbled on a behind-the-scenes clip of that day’s filming:

My front gate shows up at 0:40. The green-tarped kiosk at 0:56 is like a mini 7-11, where I bought staples such as milk, Guarana soda, and snappers. Only once did I go around the corner deeper into the favela (I was curious), and while it wasn’t dangerous, I didn’t exactly blend in. I knew a gay Algerian guy who lived in the deepness and he didn’t have any issues taking back his “crazy” B boys for nights of fun.

Here’s a video of a couple gringos riding their mountain bikes down the same favela. They end in the place where the BOPE troops from the previous clip walk up to.

You can hear the encouraging crowd in the background. I find that even the thuggish favela dwellers are rather friendly and deferent, while in America a group of approaching urban youth can be intimidating, not yielding the path and maybe even making derogatory comments (especially towards women). In Brazil this never happened to me—they’d get out of the way before I even thought about it.

Here’s a news clip talking about how the favela is the first to be hooked up with free internetche. It has some nice panoramic views of poverty:

While I don’t miss living in a favela, I do miss bragging about it, and most of all I miss the location. Right in the middle of Botafogo, it was close to everything and within 10 minutes walking distance to my favorite club to pull one-night stands (Casa do Matriz). I hated the actual apartment (it was old, there were five other roommates sharing 1.5 baths, and the kitchen had thousands of cockroaches of at least three different breeds I’d never encountered before), but it suited my leisure needs more than any Washington D.C. suburb I’ve lived in. Toss in the danger factor that got many a panties wet, and I’d definitely live in a favela again.*

*As long as it had a 24-hour police protection and I was living on the edge of the favela, not inside it. It also must have high-speed internet, hot water, and reliable electricity, with nary a hint of raw sewage odor.


  1. Rocco September 9, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Very good posting Roosh. It seems that even poor Brazilians have a better outlook on life than most other people, specifically Americans.

    I was speaking to a friend of mine who lives in Rio and she had said your favella was a fairly calm one (still a favella) but the worst warzones are in the North. She admitted that even in the worst part of the favela people are nicer than most middle class single parent home kids are here.

  2. Tony Snow September 9, 2010 at 9:07 am

    I was staying in Botafogo while I was in Rio I really liked that neighborhood. Your right the favela people I saw walking around in Botafogo seemed quite friendly. I also heard that the Dona Marta favela isn’t as dangerous as a lot of other favelas in Rio because they have a lot of cops in it. It’s not like that favela you see on your way to the zona sul from the airport.

  3. The Rookie September 9, 2010 at 9:23 am

    the willingness to live in such conditions shows that as long as you have women, nothing else really matters

    The Rookie’s last blog post: BCN: Schooled.

  4. French Connection September 9, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Awesome, this reminds of my time in Brazil. Casa d’ Matriz is fantastic, wish I’d gone more often.

    Roosh, did you ever go to Casa Rosa (other part of town)?

    1. Roosh September 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm

      French Connection: Yeah I went to Casa Rosa a couple times, but it offered no improvement to Matriz. Their never-ending cup of beer thing on Friday night wasn’t too bad though.

  5. bcg September 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

    “While I don’t miss living in a favela, I do miss bragging about it”

    This is why I read your blog. ZERO bullshit, even to yourself. It’s refreshing as hell.

  6. Tazzy Bee September 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    guarana soda >>>> your life

  7. ThatGuyFromBrazil September 9, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Tropa de Elite freaking ROCKS!!!

  8. Laura September 10, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I always wondered what the inside of a favela looked like. Also, that bike ride was was really cool, I’m guessing he had practiced riding through favelas before, but it was still pretty daring.

  9. Neo September 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Definitely visiting Brazil someday, wouldn’t mind living in a favela. Gives a different and more enriching perspective on life, one that most americans will never see.

    Neo’s last blog post: Motivation.

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  11. Nigel Clifford May 3, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Tropa De Elite is such a good film, I’m gonna have to see the second one now