COPACABANA – THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS

Once nothing but a sleepy fishing village, today one of the most famous beaches in the world.

Copacabana, the most famous beach in Rio de Janeiro, is a dream destination with an incredible draw – the myth of a carefree life, sun, sand and sea. This film presents a colourful collection of people who have sought and found happiness on the Copacabana. Pedro Aguinaga, ex-chaperone to Liza Minelli and Tina Onassis, has always lived along the four kilometre long bay known as the “Little Sea Princess”. The only thing that’s changed over the decades is the fashion: today everyone is “practically naked already” – but that’s only made the flirting easier. Pedro loves the democratic nature of the beach: “just bathing trunks, no shirt, and we’re all equal: the banker, the thief, the beggar – everyone’s the same.” For most Rio residents, happiness is synonymous with beauty. Every day is a chance to tan and tone one’s body at the beach. Cosmetic surgery is the key to money and luxury – or so thinks Mayra, who advertises her escort service on the internet. The pull of money and luxury is too great to resist: Copacabana is a hot zone in more ways than one. The police and armed forces have their hands full here 24/7.

Length: 52’ HD
Film by Thomas Wartmann
Production: Filmquadrat.dok for SWR/ARTE, 2010
Original title: Strandspaziergänge: Copacabana / Vues sur la Plage