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  • Adam Ferguson

Lisbon Beat [Batidas de Lisboa] (2019)



Directed by Rita Maia and Vasco Viana

Lisbon Beat is an energetic documentary into the PALOP (Portuguese-speaking African Countries) music scene in Lisbon. It focuses on young and old musicians from many generations, finding their place amongst the barriers of a changing city and its new direction, focusing on the music, culture and the political issues this brings.


Rita Maia is a Lisbon Born, London Based DJ, Film Maker and Radio Broadcaster. This film is her love letter to music from her home city. Vasco Viana is a cinematographer who helps to bring this vision to life. Together they capture the day to day life of these people and what music means.



Lisbon is a city which has undergone massive change in the last 30 years and is now struggling with an identity crisis. The people of the film tell their stories from how they were in the Barrios de Lata, which was destroyed as the city grew. They were forced to move away and suffered, due to a lack of support with travel links, housing and general basic lifestyle needs.


We follow many DJs who bring the community together, remembering their African roots in this challenging place, through music as well as food and culture. These people who are trying to find their place in this new city, finding how they can get the new people of Lisbon to enjoy their music, on the new bustling clubbing and music scene in the city centre. Focusing on such music types as Detroit Techno, Portuguese Afrobeat and Peruvian Noise.



This is a piece of cinema that needs to be recognised and remembered. Shedding light on why music is important to so many people and what it can do for struggling communities. There are some fantastic party scenes, which capture the true spirit of the city and these people. Showing you them in a completely stripped back way.


If you get a chance to watch this film, please do! There are many wonderful stories that need to be told and heard!


4/5