After futebol, soltar pipas, is Brasil’s most popular sport. In the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, flying the pipa is more than a leisurely escape from on-the-ground realities — it’s a venue for battle, with the entire sky as the arena. Pipa designs and airborne “cutting” strategies have been passed through generations, from rooftop to rooftop.
Filmmakers Guilherme Tensol and Leandro HBL spent time in Rocinha, Rio’s largest favela, among its young pipa warriors and elder statesmen, absorbing their secrets and documenting their stories.
Los Angeles artist Abel Alejandre says he did a lot of fighting when he was a kid, so the fighting cock has become his alter ego. [Video by Eric Minh Swenson. Music by Josh Garcia.]