A photo of the Gracies circa 1962 from the family archive, donated by Angela Gracie to the film.
Last week a member of the Mighty 600,000 emailed me, eager to know if there was any news about the documentary about the Gracies, the royal family of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Curious myself, I called director Victor Cesar Bota, who we interviewed in mid September, and asked for an update.
Bota confirmed that the movie about the Gracie family was indeed shown at the Rio International Film Festival earlier this month. As the film was being shown in the geographic heart of BJJ, the screening of the film drew many curious jiu-jitsu practitioners and several members of the Gracie family in addition to the normal festival attendees and was well received.
Unfortunately, outright false information appeared in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo the following day in its coverage of the screening:
The premiere of “The Gracies and the Birth of Vale Tudo,” by Victor Cesar Bota, on Monday night at the Rio Festival, almost ended in a fight. After viewing the documentary, Rolker Gracie complained to his cousin Robson Gracie that he did not like the statements about his father Helio Gracie in the documentary. Both are black belts in jiu-jitsu.
Bota flatly denied that anything like the above took place, a claim that was vehemently supported by a contact of The FightWorks Podcast in Rio who was also present for the duration of the screening. Rolker and Robson Gracie did have a conversation after the movie but according to both of our sources it was nothing but congenial.
While sad that the press in Rio feels it necessary to print false and inflammatory information, the important thing for the jiu-jitsu community interested in the movie is the answer to just one question: When can we see the movie? Bota clarified that what was displayed in Rio was a “pre-premiere”, as the film itself is not quite finished. (In fact, he was working on the film at the very moment I rang him on the phone!) Despite the varied ways I asked Bota when the movie would be ready, he patiently responded with the message, “It will be finished when it is finished.”
So in the meantime we will have to remain satisfied with Kid Peligro’s The Gracie Way and Renzo Gracie: Legacy. Family, stay tuned here on The FightWorks Podcast.com and as soon as we hear more information you will be the first to know!