Dzi Croquettes has received more than twenty international awards. Featuring passionate interview segments with Liza Minnelli, the documentary is the most awarded in Brazilian history. Dzi Croquettes, a Brazilian groundbreaking theater group, inspired the youth to resist the 1968 military censorship’s ban on freedom of speech during Brazil’s violent dictatorship. Combining American Lennie Dale’s innovative dance with political satire and the birth of Brazilian Bossa Nova music, Dzi Croquettes took Brazil and Europe by storm with their unique talent, hypnotic sensuality, humor, and explosive performances. Godmothered and enthusiastically supported by Liza Minnelli, the group created hype amongst celebrities with front-row fans including Catherine Deneuve, Omar Sharif, Mick Jagger, Josephine Baker, Maurice Béjart, Andy Warhol, Marisa Berenson among many others. The documentary was recently banned in China while in Brazil the current President Dilma Rousseff just announced, inspired by the documentary, the Dzi Croquettes group as recipient of “The Cultural Order of Merit Award”.
"...DZI CROQUETTES is illuminating, funny and deeply moving... A MUST SEE FILM!"
"... Dzi Croquettes is both a tribute and a terrific entertainment!"
LOS ANGELES TIMES
"...the power of a non-confrontational celebration of individual freedom... A SUREFIRE WINNER!"
"...A touching exploration of the troupe’s life!"
THE NEW YORK TIMES
"...mind-blowing... a must see film!"
Dzi Croquettes: A Brazilian groundbreaking irreverent theater group captivated audiences with their non-violent celebration of individual freedom, and through their talent, dance, political satire, and humor confronted the Brazilian violent dictatorship—the AI-5, the most infamous Institutional Act that overruled the Nation's Constitution; allowing unlimited power to the President and finally closing the Congress. The AI-5 censored approximately 500 films, 450 theater plays, and 1000 songs. Founded by American Lennie Dale—“the bad-boy of Broadway….he was really too good to be in the chorus of a Broadway show”, according to choreographer Ron Lewis—and Brazilian artist-thinker Wagner Ribeiro, this hypnotically sensual 13-member Dzi Croquettes group overwhelmingly conquered audiences in Brazil and Europe and influenced an entire generation. Not a word could be found about Dzi Croquettes group until directors Raphael Alvarez and Tatiana Issa—raised since 3 years of age within the group because of her father’s work as set designer—unraveled around the world lost footage, as well as put together within Brazil’s political and musical context of the time, famous Brazilian artists who manifest their passionate testimonies about the group’s transformational influence over them. Pleasure-packed with the group’s mesmerizing dance-satirical-theatrical performances in Brazil and in Europe, and passionately commented by Liza Minnelli’s interview in the documentary in which she embodies the excitement, originality, and talent the group was all about. Liza Minnelli says in the documentary, “I saw them in Brazil and I was knocked out…they were so avant-garde…I went back-stage and introduced myself…Absolutely outrageous and I just loved it!” … “I’ve never seen anybody dance like Lennie...” Marilia Pera, award winning actress by the Boston Society of Film Critics for her role in Hector Babenco’s Pixote, said, “During AI-5 Brazilian citizens had no rights. Everything was forbidden. We were slaves to this awful Dictatorship we had in Brazil for a long time.” A time which Brazilian journalist Nelson Motta refers to as “…a State terrorism which lasted until 77 or 78.”
Variety’s review covering the commercial run in Rio de Janeiro, commented: “the power of a non-confrontational celebration of individual freedom.” “…they toyed with visual concepts of sexual…” “Minnelli provides an animated appreciation of the troupe's style, and marvelous footage of the act in top form can't help but put smiles on auds' faces.”