It's impossible not to see Brazilian director Carlos Diegues's dazzlingly colorful film through Marcel Camus's 1959 BLACK ORPHEUS. In many ways, it's a remake: Both films are based on Vinicius de Moreas's play Orfeu da Conceicao
, which recasts the legend of
Orpheus and his wife Eurydice as a romantic tragedy set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Camus, who's French, painted the desperately poor Brazilians as happy fools who sing and dance and think of nothing but the approaching Carnaval. While BLACK ORPHEUS went on to become a huge international hit,
Brazil greeted it with the same kind of antipathy it holds for Carmen Miranda, and felt it exoticized a way of...