This month CineClub Brazil screens Orfeu Negro to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its release and the migratory experiences historical drama Corações Sujos
Considered one of the best Brazilian films of all time, Orfeu Negro won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1960. As some would say, ‘Rarely have we encountered movies like this one: a timeless mythical story from Greece brought to screen in Brazilian context, the couple come from the very heart of Brazilian society, from Rio. Yet, what links them is the same sweet feeling that have linked the people for thousands of years no matter what nationality, beliefs or family background’.
Young lovers Orfeu (Breno Mello) and Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn) run through the favelas of Rio during Carnaval, on the run from a hitman dressed like Death (Ademar Da Silva) and Orfeu’s vengeful fiancée Mira (Lourdes de Oliveira) and passing between moments of fantasy and stark reality. This impressionistic retelling of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice introduced bossa nova to the world with its soundtrack by young Brazilian composers Luiz Bonfá and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Some members of the Japanese community in Brazil refuse to believe that Japan lost World War II. A few people believe the reports, but they are persecuted and murdered by their own countrymen. For those that trust the reports, destiny might bring unforeseen challenges and consequences. This is the plot for the drama Corações Sujos.
In 1945, news of the Surrender of Japan was received with wide skepticism by most Japanese immigrants in Brazil, who assumed it be mere Allied propaganda. Those who did accept the truth are seen as traitors, “dirty hearts”, who dishonor the emperor; patriotic-turned-terrorist organization Shindo Renmei takes in their own hands the duty of killing said traitors.
The movie is told from the point of view of the wife of a Shindo Renmei member, who can’t help but witness her husband lose himself in fanaticism and bloodshed.
Orfeu Negro – 12 June – 18:15
Corações Sujos – 26 June – 18:15
Where: Embassy of Brazil in London, 14-16, Cockspur Street · London, SW1Y 5BL