Inspired by the true story of the Baccarelli Institute and the play Acorda Brasil, The Violin Teacher tells the story of Laerte, a former child prodigy violinist of immense promise that has not been fulfilled. After failing an important audition for the OSESP (Symphonic Orchestra of São Paulo), Laerte finds himself alone and struggling to pay his bills.
He reluctantly accepts an offer to teach children in Heliopolis, one of the biggest slums in Latin America. There he is shocked by a group of unruly, ill-disciplined teenagers who cannot even read music and fall far short of his standards when it comes to discipline and commitment. But amidst this chaos he uncovers the raw potential in some of the students, especially the gifted Samuel. As he comes to know them better he finds himself increasingly drawn into their world, until his former life threatens to tear them all apart.
With a standout performance by Lázaro Ramos (Madame Satã) as Laerte, this latest film from Sergio Machado (Lower City) is a moving tribute to the power of music.