In the second half of the 20th century Brazil made extraordinary contributions to music, sport, architecture. From “bossa nova,” to acrobatic soccer, to the daring architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, the country seemed to embody a new, original vision of modernity, at once “fluid, agile, and complex.” Seen from abroad, the victory of the far right in the 2018 elections was a rude awakening that suddenly turned the Brazilian dream into a nightmare. For locals, however, illusions had started fading long ago, amid paralyzing corruption, environmental degradation, racial discrimination, and escalating violence. Luckily, Brazilians are still willing to fight in order to build a better future. Today the challenge of telling the story of this extraordinary country consists in finding its enduring vitality amid the apparent melancholy.