Black Orpheus

French director Marcel Camus reworks the Orpheus legend among poor blacks in Rio de Janeiro at carnival time; his Orpheus is a streetcar conductor, his Eurydice a country girl who has come to the city for Carnaval. In the exhilarating atmosphere of the festival, they meet and fall in love, but Death, in the guise of a persistent suitor in skeleton costume, stalks the girl. In the space of twenty-four hours, the young couple relive the tragic myth. As a precursor of Brazilian new wave films, featuring a cast of nonprofessionals, and with the vibrant colors and delirious dance, costumes, and music of Carnaval, Black Orpheus captures in the slums and bay of Rio a poetic infusion of naturalism and fantasy, classicism and voodoo. The film won Camus an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

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