Black Orpheus  (Orfeu Negro)

Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro)

One of the great classics of world cinema, Black Orpheus  is a retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. It’s to Camus’ credit that the symbolism relating to the myth is integrated so deftly with the sights and sounds of the Rio Carnival. However what gives the film its mesmerising atmosphere is cinematographer Jean Bourgoin’s discrete contrasts between the vibrancy of the daylight revels and the looming malevolence of the nocturnal sequences.

The film was instrumental in introducing bossa nova to the rest of the world and is particularly noted for its soundtrack by two Brazilian composers: Antônio Carlos Jobim, whose song "A Felicidade" opens the film; and Luiz Bonfá, whose "Manhã de Carnaval" and "Samba de Orfeu" have become bossa nova classics.

Winner, Palme D’Or, Cannes and Oscar, Best Foreign Film.

Black Orpheus  (Orfeu Negro)

  • Director: Marcel Camus
  • Year: 1959
  • Run Time: 100mins
  • Country: Brazil/France/Italy
  • Rating: PG