May 22, 2022

The 6 best films to learn Portuguese • Generation Voyage

Do you know Portuguese, but would like to have a more authentic accent? To improve your pronunciation, nothing better than watching films in their original version! Here is our selection of the best films to learn the language of Fernando Pessoa.

We take more pleasure in studying when we do something we like! Thus, watching films in original version is an excellent way to progress in learning Portuguese.

This will allow you to discover new words, new expressions as well as to discover a little more the local culture. It will also allow you to hear the actors speak, and thus get used to the intonation, pronunciation and emphasis of the language.

Either way, watching movies in the language of Fernando Pessoa is one of the best ways to progress and build your vocabulary! Here is our selection of the best films for learning Portuguese!

The Lion King

Crédit photo : Shutterstock – BoxerX

  • 🌍 Nationality of the film: American
  • 🎥 Production studios: Disney
  • Duration : 88 minutes
  • 👍 The most of the film: simple vocabulary, easy to understand and remember
  • ↗️ Required level : beginner

The Lion King, O Rei Leão in Portuguese, is the 43rd animated feature film from Disney studios. It tells the story of Simba, the son of the king of the beasts. His jealous uncle covets his brother’s throne. He then traps Simba to make the animals believe that he is the instigator of the plot that leads to the death of the king. Simba flees the horde and befriends a meerkat and a warthog. As an adult, he ends up taking his place to save the animal kingdom.

You should know that cartoons in Portugal are all in the Portuguese language, so that children immerse themselves in the language of their country from their earliest childhood. This is not the case for foreign films, which are systematically presented in their original version.

Watching The Lion King, or any other Disney, in Portuguese will allow you to have a first approach to the language, with a vocabulary intended for children. It will thus be easy to understand, without difficulty in terms of grammar or the conjugation of verbs, which makes it an ideal film for learning Portuguese.

The Homestead

The Homestead

Photo credit: Flickr – RTP

  • 🌍 Nationality of the film: Portuguese
  • 🎥 Director: James Guedes
  • Duration : 166 minutes
  • 👍 The most of the film: in-depth knowledge of the social context that led to the mass emigration of the post-war years, vocabulary used by most Portuguese emigrants
  • ↗️ Required level : intermediate

This film tells the saga of a family who owned one of the largest estates in southern Europe, on the banks of the Tagus River, from the 1940s to today. We follow the difficulties of the dynasty to keep its heritage, between the changes due to the modernization of society and the revolution of April 25, 1974, which saw the collapse of the monarchy in Portugal.

A Herdade takes you into the intimacy of the Portuguese of the last century. If you have Portuguese friends, you will certainly find similarities between their personal history and that of this family. Telling them this film promises long lively debates and the evocation of memories around the table.

An ideal film therefore to learn Portuguese and to learn a little more about the history of the country!

Pedro and Ines

  • 🌍 Nationality of the film: Portuguese
  • 🎥 Director: António Ferreira
  • Duration : 120 minutes
  • 👍 The most of the film: vocabulary related to the story, which allows you to learn new words and expressions
  • ↗️ Required level : intermediate

This film is inspired by the legendary love story between Inès de Castro and the future King Pedro I of Portugal. This one was promised to Constança Manuel, but he falls madly in love with Inès, who has come to join his cousin’s court.

She will become his mistress, despite her father’s disagreement. He ended up having Inès beheaded in 1355. Having become king a few years later, Pedro had the remains of Inès transported to the monastery of Alcobaça, in a magnificent recumbent statue that can still be admired today. Pedro’s tomb is located right in front of his, at the other end of the monument.

The film Pedro e Inès tells the story of Pedro, a man interned in a psychiatric hospital because he was caught traveling with the corpse of his wife Inès in his car.

We discover that he thinks he remembers the life of Pedro and Inès in the Middle Ages, that he is called Pedro Bravo today and that he imagines his future as Pedro Rey. The three facets of his life alternate in his mind and force us to follow his ramblings. An exciting film to discover without further delay!

11 you were Fatima

  • 🌍 Nationality of the film: Portuguese
  • 🎥 Director: João Canijo
  • Duration : 153 minutes
  • 👍 The most of the film: varied vocabulary, up-to-date language, allows you to learn to hold a conversation
  • ↗️ Required level : intermediate

The film begins in Vinhais, a small town in the northeast of Portugal. We discover a group of 11 women walking to Fatima, the most important place of worship in the country, located more than 400 km from their village.

They will go through trials which will make them stronger and which will reveal their true personality as well as their deep motivations. We follow them in their moments of doubt and extreme fatigue, until their arrival nine days later.

A nice movie that will help you learn vocabulary related to everyday conversations, so ideal for learning Portuguese!

The city of God

Learn Portuguese Movies: The City of God

Photo credit: Facebook – The City of God

  • 🌍 Nationality of the film: Brazilian
  • 🎥 Director: Fernando Meireles
  • Duration : 130 minutes
  • 👍 The most of the film: varied vocabulary, specific Brazilian phrases
  • ↗️ Required level : intermediate

This film, banned in theaters under 16 when it was released in 2003, plunges you into the heart of Rio de Janeiro’s most dangerous neighborhood, the Cidade de Deus (City of God). Buscapé, the main character and narrator, is a sensitive young boy who grew up in this place where violence reigns.

He decides to become a photographer and not give in to fate. He describes the evolution of his place of life from the end of the 1960s to the mid-1970s. We discover the rise of gangs, arms and drug trafficking and the downfall of his childhood friends who do not don’t want to get out of it.

This film is more for people wishing to learn Brazilian Portuguese! If you have never seen this masterpiece, we advise you to discover it without further delay!

Central Brazil

  • 🌍 Nationality of the film: Brazilian
  • 🎥 Director: Walter Salles
  • Duration : 113 minutes
  • 👍 The most of the film: varied and up-to-date vocabulary, specific Brazilian phrases
  • ↗️ Required level : intermediate

The film Central do Brasil was acclaimed by critics when it was released in theaters in 1998. It follows the journey of two characters that nothing seemed to unite. Dora is a retired schoolteacher who writes letters for illiterate clients to make ends meet.

One day, one of her clients died when a bus broke down and left a nine-year-old boy, Joshua, behind her. Dora decides to pick him up and help him find his father, whom he has never seen. Together, they embark on an initiatory journey to the Nordeste region. A moving film, which is also intended for people wishing to learn Brazilian Portuguese!

We hope that this selection of films for learning Portuguese will help you progress in learning the language of Fernando Pessoa. Do not hesitate to tell us in the comments which film you liked the most!