Undiscovered Brazil (Blu-ray) – Documentary Review
Follow Genre: Documentary
Directed by: Paul Reddish and Christian Baumeiste
Distributor: Terra Mater Factual Studios

Undiscovered Brazil (Blu-ray) – Documentary Review

Site Score
Good: Great visuals, Varied subjects, Intresting
Bad: Sometimes repetitive,
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After an exciting 4 weeks we finally know who has won the World Cup. One thing’s for sure, it wasn’t Brazil. The tournament host was ridiculed by Germany in the quarter finals and thus eliminated from the game. In two years, Brazil will once again be in the eye of the world, hosting the summer Olympics of 2016, the first Olympic on South America’s soil. If you asked me the top three words for Brazil about 5 hours ago they would’ve been Rio, That Big Jesus Statue Thing and corruption.

Thankfully I’ve been watching an uplifting documentary about Brazil with the inspired name Undiscovered Brazil. It’s about –  wait for it – the undiscovered parts of the country, namely its stunning fauna and flora.


Undiscovered Brazil is created by Terra Mater, a subsidiary of Red Bull, who uses part of the massive Red Bull cash flow to make high tech and simply stunning documentaries in order to promote nature, science and history. Christian Rodska narrates us through five different episodes, each lasting around 50 minutes. He has a one of those soft old sounding voices, so it’s very comfortable to listen to him. Helping him is some nice atmospheric music, which becomes more intense if the subject is a predator. When the subject is more frivolous the music adapts to it and becomes very playful.

Each episodes features breathtaking scenery and high detail close ups of a wide array of beasties and plants. Certain shots are so well done that I was wondering how they actually shot that (and really: how long did they have to sit perfectly still hoping that a leopard would kindly walk by and not eat them). The five parts are the following:

Fragile Forest

In the first episode of this Blue-ray experience we are taken to Mata Atlântica (for you English speaking people: the Atlantic Forest), a rainforest that’s being threatened by the ever expending city of Rio De Janeiro. The focus lies on a couple of animals, the coolest of them being the muriqui (woolly spider monkey), a monkey that lives in utter bliss and relaxation. They live high in the trees and aren’t hunted by anything. They just sit there and relax and eat. Oh, and hug each other. Truly the best animal. Their only threat is, as it often is, mankind’s everlasting expansion.


Wild Heart

We continue our journey through Brazil by heading to the central highlands. This area, 10 times the size of the Serengeti – roughly 300 000km², offers home to some of the funniest animals alive, such as the giant anteater and the armadillo. We learn why there aren’t any large land animals on these grassy plains and how the animals survive the endless drought. We see nature transform from a green heaven to a barren rocky landscape. The lighting storms can transform this dry place to a sea of fire in no time.

Labyrinth of Lakes

The Pantanal is world’s largest tropical wetland area. It is here that we meet the Yacare caiman. These animals use both their tails and their heads in an impressive showcase of strength to impress the ladies. The ten million caimans are spread all across the area. During the dry season they all gather around small puddles of mud, cherishing the tiny amount of water.

During the drought it’s the jaguars time. Using the foliage in the Pantanal this predator hunts during the day, a rare feat for a jaguar.

A special mention then for the capybara’s then, the world’s largest rodent. These dog like creatures live in packs of 10 to 20 and just love to swim.


Paradise Coast

Brazil has a coast line of 7500 kilometers. So obviously this documentary has to offer some views and information about this giant part of the country. In the south (with it’s pure white sands) we find Lagoa do Peixe, an area filled with all kinds of birds (the most recognizable being the flamenco of course). We’re also introduced to Ilha da Queimada Grande (more known by its appropriate nickname “snake island”). Local legend has it that there are 5 snakes every square meter, but since they have killed everything else, they are at risk of extinction.

Flooded Forest

We conclude the show with the rainforest and the area around the Amazon River. We meet the harpy, one of the biggest eagles in the world with a wingspan of 2 meters. The bird uses toxin leaves to get rid of insects invading its nest. The toxin leaves are part of the battle between the plants and the plant eaters. Nature has evolved to give both parties a fighting chance, but not every battle can be won.

Ants in particular have found an excellent solution for these poisonous plants. They grow fungi by cutting the leaves in small bits and carrying them to their garden.


I’ve briefly went through just a selection of the nature that this documentary displays. It’s recommended for everybody that has the slightest interest in cool nature. It will definitely change your views about Brazil (at least if your views were as narrow minded as mine were) and will offer insight in some of the rarest animals in the world. The use of slow motion, combined with HD gives an excellent chance to see this rare wildlife in all its glory. At times it becomes a bit repetitive, but I blame this on the fact that they want to teach you something, and teaching is always done by repeating the facts.

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