Cinematography: Brazil Burning

Rio, Zona Norte

Rio, Northern Zone
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Brazil 1957
84 min

Following the critical success of his feature debut RIO, 40 GRAUS, master Brazilian filmmaker Nelson Pereira dos Santos (1928–2018) brings a tale of race and class to screen starring legendary actor Grande Otelo. Through a series of flashbacks, RIO, ZONA NORTE recalls episodes in the life of its protagonist, samba composer Espírito da Luz Cardoso, whose character was inspired by celebrated musician Zé Keti, who appears briefly in the film. Espírito is a favela-based samba composer struggling with a tough existence when his music is suddenly discovered by a music businessman, who quickly finds a ways to cheat him out of credit and royalties for his increasingly popular songs. The samba composer remains optimistic, buoyed by the spirit of his music but his despair only increases when his son turns to a life of crime and his new love abandons him. Addressing some of the nation’s most crucial characteristics, this powerful drama of inequity and exploitation of popular culture unveils the racial and economic fault lines at its heart and remains one of the greatest Brazilian films of all time (Gustavo Beck)

  • Jece Valadão - Mauricio
  • Grande Otelo - Luz Cardoso
  • Malu Maia - Adelaide
  • Maria Petar - Selbst
  • Haroldo de Oliveira - Lourival
  • Nelson Pereira dos Santos
  • Hélio Silva
  • Rafael Justo Valverde
  • Zé Keti
  • Alexandre Gnattali
Nelson Pereira dos Santos Produções Cinematográfcas
Regina Filmes
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