Quotes from the movie:
Mestre Bimba had a street capoeira phase. It even reached the point that, having been imprisoned various times, the police chief called him over and wanted to make him the police inspector of the neighborhood where he lived, because that way he would behave and not fight since he was the inspector – he would calm down. But he refused the offer, saying that capoeira and the police were always against each other, so how could he join the side of the police?
– Mestre Itapoan
For me, only two mestres have a place on my altar: Jesus and Bimba. I am what I am thanks to him. If Bimba had not existed, I would be something else.
– Mestre Decânio
If you go to my house, in my bedroom where I sleep with my wife, there is a photograph: this photo here of the Mestre. It’s there on the wall. I don’t have a photo of my biological father, but I have one of Mestre Bimba.
He would help the porters. What was his main job? Carrying knives for the dock workers. How? He would get them past the police stations for the dock workers, who were known as tough guys and troublemakers. He told me that he would buy a large loaf of bread, cut it in the middle, make a hole and put the knife in, then hide the opening. After passing the police station, he would deliver the bread to the dock workers and leave.
– Mestre Decânio
From what Mestre Bimba told me, black men who were street capoeiristas used to be tied to the tail of a horse that was let loose to run back to the military barracks. It was said to be better to fight close to the barracks, because then it was a shorter distance to be dragged by the horse.
– Americano (Muniz Sodré)
Mestre Bimba surprised society with a different type of behavior. He contradicted every stereotype that society had about capoeiristas. He seems like a straight, serious man.
– Fred Abreu, historian
Candomblé, capoeira, and certain types of food are all expressions of cultural resistance, against the suffocation of the dominating party – the white European slave master. So this is why capoeira was made officially illegal for a while. The names of the capoeiristas are there – Besouro, Bom Cabelo, and many others like this, who had their general gathering place in the Mercado de Ouro (Gold Market) because the great majority of them were manual laborers.
– Cid Teixeira, historian