A woman takes her young son, leaves her husband and moves in with her lover. The boy, desperate to get his parents back together, becomes convinced that if only he can get his father's ... See full summary »
One tries to delude, the other tries to steal, and in some cases they are people who have no idea what they're doing... the truth is that life is still difficult for Culatra, Rato and Bino.... See full summary »
Tó is a black boy from Zona J, a tough neighborhood in Lisbon, and falls in love with a white girl, Carla. Tó dreams to live in Angola, where his parents were born, however the reality the two teens are in makes everything complicated.
How happy and proud they are those two ladies back in their Tras-os-Montes region! Thanks to them, their bright nephew can study medicine in Lisbon and may already have become a physician. ... See full summary »
Teresa and Miguel, of 35 and 15 years respectively, get involved. Teresa is a doctor and, after a frustrated love life, she decides to abandon Lisbon and returns to her native land. When ... See full summary »
Julio, aged nineteen, has just left the provinces to settle down in the outskirts of Lisbon. He lives there in a poor area with his uncle Raul and starts working as an apprentice shoemaker.... See full summary »
A woman takes her young son, leaves her husband and moves in with her lover. The boy, desperate to get his parents back together, becomes convinced that if only he can get his father's stolen motorcycle back everything will be fine again, so he sets out to get enough money to buy his father a new one. Written by
To the person who commented that the movie seems to be saying that "the problem with working children is not they aren't in school or that someone is taking advantage of them but the fact they are taking the places from the grown up people" -- this is inaccurate, or rather inadequate -- that's the view of one character in the film. Taken overall, I think the film's comments on work, social relations, and exploitation are much broader: The film seems to be about how the scramble for survival amongst those on the "lower rungs" of the socioeconomic "ladder" will bring out the hardness in people and their attitude towards those around them & life in general. I read the film as saying, if you're at or near the bottom, and aren't willing or able to stomp on a few people while attempting to climb up, you're not going to make it--literally. The consequences of this "failure" might even mean death. If this sounds Dickensian, that's because it is.
Living as I do in safe, comfortable Canada, insulated from this reality, I found myself very uncomfortable witnessing how the characters dealt with each other in the film. It's as if while we are moving into the 21st century (new economy and all that, including this Web site!), many people are returning to the 19th century, or at least the conditions of the 19th century in rapidly industrializing Europe.
I was also left wondering to what degree I am contributing to this process: in an era of globalization many people from Canada (including myself) have money invested abroad (of course none of us knows where exactly) via mutual funds and all that. Particularly in the film's work scenes, I found myself thinking, my money could be involved in that construction site or that bakery...
I found this film to be a painful experience, but in a good way. I would highly recommend this film for looking at these issues unflinchingly -- if you want something escapist and fun, this is absolutely not the film for you. But I would say to the filmmakers, thanks for the dose of reality!
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