Orfeu negro (Black Orpheus)

On April 22, 2013


orfeu negroDirector: Marcel Camus

Writers: Marcel Camus, Vinicius de Moraes, Jacques Viot

Actors: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira

Production Co.: Dispatfilm, Gemma Cinematografica, Tupan Filmes LTA

Country: Brazil, France, Italy

Year: 1959

Language: Dialogue in Portuguese with optional English subtitles.

Format: DVD and VHS (1 copy of each in JMC).


Summary: Story based on the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice set against the colorful background of the carnival in Rio de Janiero. With its magnificent color photography and lively soundtrack, this film brought the infectious bossa nova beat to the United States.

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4 Responses to “Orfeu negro (Black Orpheus)”

  • Orfeu Negro is one of the best-known Brazilian movies and has won many prizes since its creation. The film basically focuses on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, using the Brazilian carnival as a way to interpret it. Not only is the movie a great work of art, it also is a moral commentary that creates a memorable experience. Three elements that make the film especially interesting are the soundtrack, the cinematography, and the intriguing personification of death, which appear alongside other more conventional themes like love and happiness. I would recommend this movie because it combines the contemporary and the historical to create an homage to Brazilian culture through this myth.

  • Orfeu Negro is a beautiful film that tells the story of Orfeu the Greek God but in a black Brazilian setting. This movie is filled to the brim with elements of mysticism that brings to question the role of deities into the everyday life. Its modern twist on an old story makes the film more relatable, while keeping the audiences attention with the constant playing of samba music and Carnaval festivities.

  • The movie Orfeu Negro is a modernized version of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval, the film is able to retell the story while highlighting several of the incredible features of Brazil. The soundtrack adds a great deal to the storyline as it enables the viewer to be captivated from the opening scene to the very end.

  • Marcel Camus does a great job with Orfeu Negro. The story of Orfeus and Eurydice from Greek mythology is played out in mid 20th century Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. Orfeu, a poor, but young and attractive guitarist and singer, who the girls all fawn over, falls in love with a stranger named Euridice. Death seeks Eurydice though and Orfeu is faced with some challenges and tough decisions about love,life and religion during the most momentous couple days of the year in the Brazilian calendar. This film combines captivating plot with phenomenal music and strong acting. It comes highly recommended.

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