Armed with Drums
A troubled teenager uses drums to express his anger as he trains to play in the enormous Rio Carnival.
“Armed with Drums” is an uplifting coming-of-age story about dealing with loss, the power of music to express difficult feelings and daring to believe in yourself against the odds. The film’s main character is Bruno (13). Bruno lives with his grandparents and 9 children in the favela hillside of Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. When his beloved Grandad dies from Covid, Bruno is heartbroken and restless.
His neighbour and drummer Caliquinho has first-hand experience of the dangers of the drug cartels in the favela. Worried for Bruno, he invites him to learn drums after school.
Observationally we have followed the friends for two years. We see how Bruno expresses his feelings, makes new friends and starts to dream of an unlikely future as a professional drummer and to play in the world famous Rio Carnival. We also see how he struggles with school, expectations on how to live and battles to regain belief in his future.
Project is part of the Focus on Docs section.
Øyvind is a Norwegian film director who focuses on creative character-led documentaries. His short documentary ‘Being Someone Else’ was nominated for several awards including ECFA, CIFF, Zlín, won Best Short Documentary at Children’s IFF Seattle and the Iris Award for Best Non-Fiction Film at UNICEF Innocenti IFF in 2021. Øyvind has an 18 year career in the music, film and TV industry and holds an MA in documentary film from Raindance Film. He has developed his directorial voice through films about young people's journeys with belonging, neurodiversity and the effects of drug misuse.