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1,670 Ratings

Black Orpheus

Orfeu Negro

Directed by Marcel Camus
Brazil, Italy, 1959
Drama, Music, Romance


1960 Academy Award Winner and winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice against the madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Our take

Travel to Rio de Janeiro during Carnival with Camus’ film Black Orpheus, which transposes and reshapes the Orpheus and Eurydice myth to further highlight its universality. A marvel of cinema that plays with the musicality of images, the film was the Palme d’Or winner at the 1959 Cannes festival!

Black Orpheus Directed by Marcel Camus

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1959 | Winner: Palme d'Or

Academy Awards

1960 | Winner: Best Foreign Language Film

BAFTA Awards

1961 | Nominee: Best Film from any Source

Critics reviews

I must add that when I saw first saw Black Orpheus in the early 1960s, I was thrilled by Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Latin dance-beat score, but I was totally creeped out by the exoticizing of people of color. I can’t imagine that my experience of the film will change when I see it this time around at the Quad.
September 14, 2017
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Perhaps in today’s world, it seems a bit too exoticized, a bit too in love with a fantasy vision of Brazil. But this isn’t just a wallow in otherness: Especially in the film’s early scenes, Camus places the traditions and wonder of Carnaval in the context of a developing country where big office buildings and the trappings of modernity are all around. The film is ultimately about the mystery that always lurks beneath the everyday.
October 28, 2015
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Don’t be stupid, I shall be told, that isn’t what the film is about at all: it is first and foremost a collection of Baroque and sumptuous images. A document on beauty, in fact. Like Zazie, I say politely, ‘My eye!’ to anyone who tells me that Jean Bourgoin’s images are beautiful. They do not even have the excuse of intending to be picture-postcards like South Pacific.
July 01, 1959

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