Bursting with samba, chorinho and American music, A Suprema Felicidade is set in a post-war Rio de Janeiro in the throes of a period of cultural, political and economic effervescence, when all dreams – or almost all – seem possible.
In the midst of these exciting transformations, the film, directed by Arnaldo Jabor in a very intimate style, narrates the trajectory of Paulo from the ages of 8 to 18. His conflicted relationship with his parents, his solid complicity with his bohemian grandfather, and his amazing discovery of the world and of himself – at home, on the streets, at school, bars, cabarets and brothels – all form a part of the story. On his journey through childhood and into adolescence, Paulo challenges God, suffers the pains of his first love, and explores sexuality in the company of a sweet stripper – a dead ringer for Marilyn Monroe.
He witnesses scenes of sanity and insanity, while going from repression to freedom, learning that happiness can take many, many forms. Sometimes, as his grandfather tells him, happiness might only last 10 minutes, but it still most definitely exists.