A truly beautiful film, <i>Rio’s Love Song</i> brings to life the stories contained in four popular Brazilian songs, composed by Jorge Ben Jor, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque. Carlos Diegues, one of the legendary directors from Brazil’s Cinema Novo movement (Bye Bye Brazil, Xica Xica da Silva, and Ganga Zumba), brings us one of the most original and refreshing films produced in Latin America this year.
Pisada de Elefante is the story of Zé Maria, a policeman who falls in love with Lili, a dancer in a small nightclub. When he leaves his wife to live with Lili, he soon finds himself part of an operatic tragedy. In Drao, Sandra, owner of a fashion boutique, and Marcos, an advertising executive, decide to separate after six years of marriage. After new experiences and some affairs, they find they still love each other. Voce e Linda introduces us to two street kids in Rio de Janeiro. Cica has left home because of her alcoholic father, and Guimba has no family at all, just a need for love. In Samba do Grande Amor, Joao, who runs an animal lottery, offers a popular service interpreting people’s dreams so they can bet on the right animals. He hears someone singing in the building across the street from where he works and falls in love with the voice. Obsessed, he searches among the building’s eclectic tenants for its owner.
Masterfully directed and acted, all four stories use their imagery resourcefully and creatively. Music, sound, and pictures weave together into a kind of cinema that resembles a poem. Diegues reinvents Brazilian popular culture in a storytelling style where the unexpected always finds a place. A true gem, <i>Rio’s Love Song</i> is entertaining and enlightening.
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