Documentarian Cesar Paes (Awara Soup) follows two troubadours around Sao Paulo, Brazil, as they regale crowds with songs about the nordestinos—emigrants from the northeast who've come to the nation's largest city in search of a better life. Interspersed throughout this 2000 feature are scenes of them and other ordinary folks at work, some only too happy to burst into song as well, providing relief from the urban cacophony. The troubadours' sardonic lyrics convey the melancholy of the disenfranchised, which the lively, African-influenced rhythms paradoxically tend to counteract. Paes presents a subtly critical panorama of a congested, multiethnic metropolis, one often characterized as the city of the future. In Portuguese with subtitles. 94 min.