Brazil is a 1985 dark dystopian science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. The film stars Jonathan Pryce and features Robert De Niro, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins and Ian Holm.
The film centres on Sam Lowry, a man trying to find a woman who appears in his dreams while he is working in a mind-numbing job and living in a small apartment, set in a dystopian world in which there is an over-reliance on poorly maintained (and rather whimsical) machines. Brazil's satire of bureaucratic, totalitarian government is reminiscent of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and has been called Kafkaesque and absurdist.
Sarah Street's British National Cinema (1997) describes the film as a "fantasy/satire on bureaucratic society"; and John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies (2005) describes it as a "dystopian satire".
Jack Mathews, a film critic and the author of The Battle of Brazil (1987), described the film as "satirizing the bureaucratic, largely dysfunctional industrial world that had been driving Gilliam crazy all his life". The film is named after the recurrent theme song, Ary Barroso's "Aquarela do Brasil", known simply as "Brazil" to British audiences, as performed by Geoff Muldaur.
Though a success in Europe, the film was unsuccessful in its initial North America release. It has since become a cult film. In 1999, the British Film Institute voted Brazil the 54th greatest British film of all time. In 2017 a poll of 150 actors, directors, writers, producers and critics for Time Out magazine saw it ranked the 24th best British film ever.