This article reports on the use of participatory video as a research tool for working in violent contexts. The research asked how people living in poor areas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil can build a bridge between violence and citizenship through participatory social action. Working in violent favelas and housing estates, the process involved creating participatory discussion groups drawn from different segments of the community. Participatory video was one of several tools used in the research process. The main contribution of participatory video was not in generating empirical findings, but in challenging patterns of power and control.