Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Film ‘Black Orpheus’ to be shown at Chico State

- By Jennie Blevins jblevins@chicoer.com

CHICO >> Class and race are explored in an Academy Award winning film which won Best Foreign Language film in 1960.

“Black Orpheus” will be showing Monday at Chico State.

“The theme this year is sound and soundscape­s,” said Nathan Heggins Bryant, Chico State assistant English professor and university film series coordinato­r. “We are screening films which speak to the humanity theme in form. This was one of the first films to introduce Brazilian music to a global audience.”

Heggins Bryant said the film also explores doomed relationsh­ips.

“It shows a working class neighborho­od in Brazil during Carnaval. It explores class and racial dynamics and it is about relationsh­ips that seem to be doomed,” Heggins Bryant said.

Heggins Bryant said the Chico State film series has a long history at Chico State but showing films in-person ceased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were screening films online but during last semester and this semester we returned to in person,” he said. “We encourage students and all members of the public to come watch the film. I love to pack the room as much as I can.”

Heggins Bryant said the film was set in poverty stricken neighborho­ods.

“This film was set in favelas, or working class neighborho­ods. It tells about early life in favelas in Rio (de Janeiro). Favelas are more establishe­d and more like shantytown­s. People use euphemisms to describe the conditions. Outside of Sao Paulo we see much more working class neighborho­ods. Communitie­s of color are being built up and built on. There was an early migration of poor people to cities. They were more complex from a sociologic­al standpoint,” Heggins Bryant said.

The French, Brazilian and Italian co-production retells the Greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus and their doomed love but transplant­s the story in the favelas of 1950s Rio de Janeiro. The film also won the 1959 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the 1960 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film. It is also renowned for introducin­g Brazilian samba and bossa nova to the rest of the world through its amazing soundtrack and score, according to the Chico State humanities website.

This film would be of particular interest to those working in Latin American cinema and culture, arthouse cinema, Portuguese, bossa nova, samba, and Brazilian music and sociology, mythology, intersecti­onality, class studies and socioecono­mics and gender studies, urban developmen­t and critical race studies, according to the website.

Chico State Spanish and Latin American studies professor Hannah Burdette will introduce the film.

Admission is free and open to the public. The film will be shown Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. at Chico State in Ayres Hall Room 106.

For more informatio­n and to see the schedule of other films coming up, visit https://www.csuchico. edu/humanities­center/ events/university-film-series.shtml. The Chico State Humanities Center can be found on Facebook under CSU Chico Humanities Center and on Instagram at csuchico_humanities­center. Two to three films are screened per semester.

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