ORFEU (1999) [Feature]

Brazil (MIFF 2001 , Viva – New Latin American Cinema)
Director: Carlos Diegues

A glorious rendition of the mythical low affair between Orpheus and Euridice, set amidst the pageantry and splendour of Camivale. The Orfeu of this tale is a legendary singer and guitarist whose playing enchants all. In a Rio neighbourhood wracked by drugs, crime and violence, his powerful music is enough to compel the entire underprivileged community of Carioca Hill to listen.

The beauty and innocence of newcomer Euridice enraptures Orfeu-the passion of a lifetime, worthy of immense sacrifice. With preparations for Camivale underway dark forces are gathering, under the leadership of slum drug-lord Luchino. Orfeu attempts to combat this evil influence, keep his community united and protect Euridice. A sublime romance, set against the squalor and menace of Rio's poorest districts. That the inhabitants can rise above their circumstances to celebrate life and love with an exultant Canivale makes for a life-affirming cinema statement. Orfeu is astounding—one of this year's Festival discoveries. Winner of the Cinema Brazil Grand Prizes for Best Film, Best Music and Best Cinematography.

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