For a brief moment, comedy rockers Mamonas Assassinas were Brazil’s biggest band. Their 1995 self-titled album remains the best-selling debut of any Brazilian band, eventually earning a triple platinum certification. They were huge overseas too—especially in the Portuguese market, with their double-entendre lyrics and innovative sound leading to a renewed relevance for Brazilian rock.
Tracing their story from first incarnation Utopia (a more “serious” band similar to Barão Vermelho, Legião Urbana, and other classic São Paulo rock acts) to their groundbreaking success, the documentary Mamonas Forever gathers several interviews with the band’s friends and family as well as backstage footage and snippets of live shows, rehearsals, and TV appearances in order to tell the heartbreaking story of Mamonas Assassinas’s short-lived career. (The group died in a plane crash on March 2, 1996, as they were embarking on an international tour.)
Mamonas Assassinas’s music had a contagious euphoria that sparkled in a mix of childlike innocence and irresistible naughtiness. Mamonas Forever is faithful to this unique combination in both its editing style and aesthetics, reflecting an irreverent yet naive sweetness typical of the band.