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Published: 10 March 2012

By Andy Ross

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Chico and Rita - a love story

On a wet and wild Saturday morning, I decided to watch a movie that I have had waiting for a little while. Armed with toast and fruit and strong black coffee, I sat in the sitting room with the projector attached to the computer and watched Chico and Rita on the large screen.

In Brazil and Portugal, there is a word "saudade" which does not have an equivalent English translation but means "bitter-sweet" and "melancholy" and "happiness" all rolled into one, centred around the knowledge of something that should be, cannot be. It is a strange emotion used sometimes for lost loves and longing, but one that the music in Brazilian songs captures perfectly.

I do not know what the equivalent of saudade is in Cuba, where Chico and Rita is set, but this feature-length animation has the same feeling for me. The music is wonderful, poignant and happy, with one song running through the whole story. It is a story of the love between a singer and a piano player, told beautifully and simply through animation and music.

For a truly lovely experience, get a copy of Chico and Rita, and sit with a friend and a box of hankies. If you want to find out more, go to www.chicoandrita.co.uk.