João de Deus is the manager of an ice-cream shop owned by an ex-prostitute, Paraíso dos Gelados (Ice-Cream Paradise). Through a unmoved desire of perfection, he seeks, through cleansing and... See full summary »
João César Monteiro
João César Monteiro,
Manuela de Freitas
Antoine is an accountant, uptight and withdrawn, married to Edith, who picks out his clothes and shoes. He's assigned to a fitness gymnasium for a month to straighten out their books. The ... See full summary »
Paul Lamont, a corrections officer and law student, leads a comfortable if culturally bankrupt, middle-class existence. Lamont's marriage is already in trouble when he bails out a ... See full summary »
Isaach De Bankolé
Vicente, seventeen, lives with brother Nino, ten-years-old, and his ailing father in a derelict house on the outskirts of the capital. They don't seem to remember their mother, and are very... See full summary »
Inês de Medeiros
A warm summer in Montreal. Two black men, Man and Bouba, share an apartment. Man is an ambitious author, writing on The Great Novel. Bouba is a lazy amateur philosopher who quotes the Koran... See full summary »
Jacques W. Benoit
Isaach De Bankolé,
Ema is a very attractive but innocent girl, so pretty that cars crash in her presence. Young marries Dr. Carlo Paiva, who she is not attracted to, but is her father's friend. They move to ... See full summary »
Manoel de Oliveira
Cécile Sanz de Alba,
Luís Miguel Cintra
The Philippines, 1972. Mysterious things are happening in a remote barrio. Wails are heard from the forest, cows are hacked to death, a man is found bleeding to death at the crossroad and ... See full summary »
Portuguese director Pedro Costa directs "Down to Earth" (aka "House of Larva"). Like many of his other features - "Bones", "Vanda's Room", "Colossal Youth" - the film blends minimalism with surrealism, utilizes a non professional cast and is set in contemporary Cape Verde, an island off the North Western coast of Africa.
The film revolves around two characters, Mariana, a Portuguese nurse assigned to Cape Verde from Lisbon, and Leao, a black patient who awakes from a coma following a construction accident. Strangely, Leao resents being alive. He resents being back in Cape Verde, an enmity which Mariana senses and gradually begins to understand as the continuing legacy of both colonialism and the European slave trade begin to become apparent to her. It's a legacy that has scarred Cape Verde, and induced in Mariana a kind of coma or sickness akin to Leao's.
Throughout the film Costa repeatedly cuts to shots of festering volcanoes, their bubbling cisterns threatening to violently explode. Such shots are suggestive of the plight of Cape Verde's population (and migrant workers), all of whom are on the verge of economic extinction. The volcano's's bubbling larva also alludes to the populace's growing, mounting disdain, its pyroclasic flow pointing to some future, potential uprising. See Gillo Pontecorvo's "Burn!".
8/10 Worth one viewing.
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