DOCNZ: The New Zealand International Documentary Film Festival


An astonishing documentary filled with harrowing, unforgettable images. -Ali Caterall, The Guardian


Dancing with the Devil

UK 2009 / 105min. / English, Portuguese with English subtitles.
Director Jon Blair. Producers Jon Blair, Douglas Engle, Tom Phillips.

In Dancing with the Devil, director Blair gains remarkable access to drug traffickers who talk openly about the business they are engaged in and who view the police as exploitative and corrupt predators of the favelas. They cast themselves as the providers and protectors of their impoverished neighbourhoods.

Pastor Dione “Jonny” dos Santos is a former drug trafficker turned minister, working to broker peace agreements between and within the drug gangs. He unceasingly exhorts the gangsters to put down their guns and embrace a religious life of service.

One is Juarez “Spiderman” Mendes da Silva, a powerful and feared drug lord who has vowed to quit the gang life to serve God. But Spiderman hasn’t put down his guns yet, and as Pastor Jonny moves through the favelas preaching peace, one begins to wonder if Spiderman ever will.


Dancing with the Devil Trailer

Find similar films by topic: Ethnic, Politics, War/Conflict.


Festivals and Awards

  • Sheffield Documentary Festival
  • Rio de Janeiro Film Festival
  • Silverdocs
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Documentary Edge Festival 2011

World Cinema (2/9)

Screening in Wellington

Thu 10 Mar
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
6pm Angelika at Reading Cinemas CourtenayBook 
Sat 19 Mar
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
8:30pm Angelika at Reading Cinemas CourtenayBook 

Other Cities

Programme p.29