Legendary Brazilian director Carlos Diegues recasts the tragic myth of Orpheus in the shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. Orfeu de Conceicao is the most famous samba player in Brazil, and one of the most respected members of the neighborhood of Carioca Hill, a labyrinth of dirty streets and quickly made shacks ruthlessly controlled by drug lord Lucinho. Young Orfeu, though, lives a gilded life. He has his pick of a bevy of local beauties, children worship him, and the corrupt police will not harass him like the others in the area. During the run-up to Carnival, his world is turned upside down with the appearance of the gorgeous Euridice, who has just moved from the remote untamed hinterland of the Amazon. In spite of her indifference to samba music and her initial reluctance, the two soon fall passionately in love. Unfortunately, the violence of their surroundings threatens to overwhelm them. When Lucinho takes a liking to Euridice and challenges his former childhood friend, Orfeu is forced to endure a brutal test for his love. Orfeu was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival.