Essay on The Film Black Orpheus and the Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

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The Film Black Orpheus and the Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one that has been passed down through generations for thousands of years. Almost every generation has heard a rendition of how Orpheus and Eurydice fall in love with one another and are eventually parted by death. I say rendition because this myth is passed on by word of mouth, which in return causes the story to change depending on the story teller. This may also have a great deal to do with the different interpretation people form about the story. Black Orpheus, directed by Marcel Camus in 1959, is an interpretation or modern rendition of the Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice. Although this film does not adapt the literal meaning of the
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Orpheus is doing this exactly same thing in the movie. He is trying to save Eurydice overcoming anything or one that comes in his way.

In the process him trying to escape the doctors, Orpheus finds a scarf stuck in the elevator that he believes belongs to Eurydice. Upon finding this, he races up stairs in an attempt to meet her when the elevator doors open. Once he reaches the point where the elevator stops, he is very disappointed at what he sees. To his dismay, the woman he has been chasing up numerous of stairs is not Eurydice. At this point of the scene, I believe that Orpheus is traveling through the second river of the underworld, Acheron, which is the river of woe. Orpheus is in such despair when he realizes that the woman on the elevator is not Eurydice. His body language as he walks from the hospital is full of wretchedness. Benedito reaches out and holds his lifeless hand in support.

As they leave the hospital, instead of Orpheus realizing that Eurydice is dead, he continues to “forget” that she has been electrocuted and continues his quest in finding her. He decides to go to missing persons to see if she is there. This is when I feel as though he has entered Lethe, the third level of his journey to the underworld. Lethe is the river of forgetfulness and I sincerely feel that as this point of the movie, Orpheus is pass denial which places him in a state of disregard. All of the pain that he is dealing with has possibly caused
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