HomeNews & Views Foreign Flick Friday: Dystopian Thriller Series Wows in Portuguese

Foreign Flick Friday: Dystopian Thriller Series Wows in Portuguese


Director César Charlone and creator Pedro Aguilera’s series, 3%, imagines a futuristic world where each year São Paulo twenty-year-olds must go through a series of tests called “the Process” to determine whether they will continue to live in poverty and devastation at “the Inland” or be able to enter the paradise-like “Offshore,” an island promising a better life. The tests take a variety of forms—interviews, grueling mental tasks and puzzles, and feats of physical agility—and only 3% of those who partake are admitted to the affluence, security, and peace of “the Offshore.”

{{Looking for tips on how to use films or shows to improve your language skills? See our inaugural Foreign Flick Friday post.}}

If you’re thinking this has a distinct Hunger Games vibe, The Telegraph puts it this way: “Think Katniss Everdeen on a very special episode of The Apprentice.”1 However, Nerdist.com gives the series far more credit for originality and its unique perspective on our current society:

“More than a clone of Hunger Games (or any other sci-fi Dystopia that champions the huddled masses yearning to breathe free), 3% is also an adept, angry satire that utilizes reality television competitions as a mirror for our worst instincts.”2

While it may not have the budget of other major undertakings in the genre, this very first Brazilian Netflix original series is holding its own with fans and critics alike—largely due to its diverse and very talented cast. Excellent news for those who enjoy watching series, but also for those hoping to work their language skills by hearing authentic Brazilian Portuguese dialogue!

“With limited resources, ‘3%’s’ ability to captivate relies on both acting and storytelling, and succeeds on both counts. The entirely Brazilian cast is led by João Miguel as Ezequiel, who oversees the selection process while managing his own secrets, as well as Bianca Comparato as Michele, a candidate determined to make it all the way to the end of The Process. But many of the other candidates, including wheelchair-bound Fernando (Michel Gomes) and ruthless Rafael (Rodolfo Valente), prove compelling.”3

The eight-episode first season is available to stream on Netflix (we strongly encourage you to try the subtitled version, instead of the dubbed one, to enjoy the beautiful Portuguese language!), and it’s been picked up for a second season.4

It’s movie night, so grab the popcorn and watch this trailer with us. Then tell us what you think @LeadWLanguages on social media. Also be sure to  check out our Lead with Portuguese page for university programs, scholarships, blogs, and more!

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