Espirito de Luz Soares, a composer at a samba school, has fallen from a train. As he waits for help, the memories of his past life flash by him. There were the songs he composed, which were almost always robbed by a friend of his who recorded them instead of him. There was his son who died before his eyes after he committed a robbery. There was the singer, Angela, who promised him to record one of his songs that speaks prophetically of death.
"When I shot Rio, 40 graus, nobody paid any attention to it. The film became famous only after the police confiscated it and it turned into a topic for the newspapers. In Rio, Zona Norte I was already working within commercial perimeters as far as the aciors, production, as distribution was concerned... even though the film only made the pretence of being professional because - financially speaking - it was an amateur film... As far as the differences between the two films, Rio, 40 graus gave a general vision of Rio. There was a certain sympathy for the characters, nut no psychological insight. In Rio, Zona Norte the opposite happens. It is the life of a character inspired by Zé Kéti and we follow this character day by day until his death. This is the reason why the vision of this second film ends up being more analytical. I had almed to shoot a Carioca Trilogy, but I did not manage to shoot the third film because I ran into enormous financial problems.... I think we would never have started except for Italian Neo-Realism, and I think that no economically weak country would have done it either... The reason is that the greatest lesson of Neo-Realism has been that people could make films doing withotit all the materíal and economic structure of the big film industry that was dominant at that time - Hollywood.... We immediately tried to learn that lesson; that is, to make films without needing big studios with a 'camera in our hands and an idea in our heads' and our eyes open to our own reality..." (Nelson Pereira dos Santos)
Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Director of photography: Hélio Silva.
Editor: Rafael Justo Velverde.
Music: Alexandre e Radamés Gnatalli.
Songs: Zé Kéti, Arthur Vargas Junior.
Cast and characters: Grande Otelo (Espirito de Luz Soares), Malu, Jece Valadão, Mária Petar, Paulo Goulart, Arthur Vargas Jr., Haroldo de Oliveira, Edson Vitoriano, Iracema Vitória, Erley Freitas, Laurita Santos, Zé Kéti, Sérgio Malta, Carlos Aquino.
Production company: Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Ciro Freire Curi, Mario Marinho.