In 1964, Humberto Branco had taken over the government in a military coup, recessed the Congress, and started cracking down on leftists and political rivals.
At the same time, hordes of idealistic youth like Gilberto Gil poured into the capital, bringing fresh ideas and creative new directions in music, film, and art - and challenging the military dictatorship.
With Caetano Veloso, Gil was one of the founders of Tropicalia, a musical movement born in 1967, which was influenced by poesia concreta, a genre of Brazilian avant garde poetry,and fused bossa nova with Brazilian folk music, rock, and political and social messages.
At the same time, the Tropicalia art movement was exploring new directions in graphics and architecture, while Cinema Novo (New Cinema) directors were exposing the country's vast poverty.
The new generation of Brazilian artists absorbed everything from campus protests in Berkeley and Black Panther rhetoric to the French New Wave and Norman Mailer as they formulated their own contributions to the late-60s creative explosion.