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Director: Sérgio Tréfaut
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Genres:

Documentary

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Country:

Portugal

Release Date:

1 October 2004 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Lisboners See more »

Filming Locations:

Lisbon, Portugal

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Budget:

€60,000 (estimated)
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Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Immigrants
4 March 2009 | by valadasSee all my reviews

During the second half of 19th century and the first three quarters of 20th century Portugal was a country of emigrant labourers. Fifty per cent of its active population emigrated to evade poverty and seek better life conditions abroad. But now things changed and Portugal is a country of immigrants mainly after its admission in the European Union and the collapse of the USSR and other East European socialist regimes. Brazilians, Ukrainians, Russians, natives of the former Portuguese African colonies (like Cape Verde for instance) and also Asians came (and are still coming) to Portugal also in search of better life because they always thought that we in the west are all (or almost all) rich people so they could become rich too. This documentary movie shows us in a very thorough and realistic way the life of these people in Lisbon. They are only "lisboetas" (lisboners) by adoption therefore there is some irony in the movie title. We can see their troubles in all aspects of their life beginning with the difficulty in getting residence visas for which they have to wait for hours in queues at the Service of Foreigners to be interviewed by officials in Portuguese despite the fact that most of them don't master the Portuguese language. Then it's the labour problem. Most of them are exploited by unscrupulous employers who take advantage of the fact that many of them are illegal immigrants with no visas and may be denounced to the authorities at any time and get expelled. Most of them work in the building construction with very low salaries and no protection. In the movie we saw one of them saying that he got 25 euros for a 12 hour work. Then we are shown their everyday life, we hear their talking on the phone to their families who stayed at home and those conversations are very moving sometimes. We hear their opinions about the country where they are now, some favourable some others not. We see their various religious practices (Muslim, Orthodox Christian, etc). But the most charming scenes are those where their children (many of them already born in Portugal) play, talk, are interviewed and give also their infantile but interesting opinions and look at us through the camera with their beautiful innocent eyes. This movie is an important and true document of a reality very often unknown to the Portuguese citizens but that deserves to be fully known.


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