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The Hero (2004)

O Herói (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 13 May 2004 (Portugal)
A 20-year veteran of the Angolan civil war returns to the capital city of Luanda where he faces the challenges of assimilation and survival.


Zézé Gamboa
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Makena Diop Makena Diop ... Vitorio (as Oumar Makena Diop)
Milton 'Santo' Coelho Milton 'Santo' Coelho ... Manu
Maria Ceiça Maria Ceiça ... Maria Bárbara aka Judite
Patrícia Bull Patrícia Bull ... Joana
Neusa Borges Neusa Borges ... Flora (as Neuza Borges)
Raúl Rosário Raúl Rosário
Prospero Joao Prospero Joao
Orlando Sérgio Orlando Sérgio ... Minister
Fernando Lupach ... (as Fernando Ferreira)
Catarina Matos ... Rute
Miguel Hurst Miguel Hurst ... Doctor Luís
Thierry Darrigrand Thierry Darrigrand ... Doctor Thierry
Nelo Helder Nelo Helder
Adelino Caracol Adelino Caracol
João Carlos Miguel João Carlos Miguel


When he was 15, Vitório was recruited by Angolan army, where he would stay for two decades fighting. In his last mission, he was hit by a mine and lost a leg. After a long time waiting, he finally manages to secure a prothesis. With no job and unable to find his family, he faces indifference and mockery. One night, while sleeping on the street, somebody steals his prothesis. But he finds support on three people: the prostitute Judith, the boy Manu and Joana, Manu's teacher. Written by lukejoplin@infolink.com.br

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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References The Mysterious Lady (1928) See more »

User Reviews

Grand prize winner??
31 December 2005 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

I saw this film at the Dubai Film Festival following the hype of its win of the World Dramatic Grand Prize at Sundance festival. It was not a bad film but how can one award it a Grand Prize--unless, of course, its competition was even worse. Sundance needs to re-evaluate its basic standards.

The plus points of the film: 1. The subject of land-mines is real and immediate danger around the world. 2. The first major feature film from Angola. 3. A debut film from an Angolan filmmaker--with the sufficient assistance of Portugal and France, with no film industry support from Angola. 4. Few know that Angola has survived 20 years of civil strife and a generation has spent a major life span being associated with it.

The negative points: 1. The film-making quality is at best average (even for African standards). There are better films coming out of Africa in the past two years--Sembene's "Moolade" (Senegal), Mohamad Asli's "In Casablanca, elephants can fly" (another debut, from Morocco), and Mark Dornford-May's "U-Carmen eKhayelitsha" (another debut, from South Africa). 2. The opening aerial shot is much raved about--Wim Wender's did it better in the "Million Dollar Hotel" 3. The plot meanders from the child seeking lost father (this could have been developed further)to the adult seeking familial sustenance and the interplay with lovers. 4. Luanda's urban water shortage is inferred to but never developed further.

Oumar Diop, the lead player, has an arresting on-screen presence compared to real life (I met him in Dubai) but is too wooden to be called an actor of consequence.

Many films are getting prizes at festivals that could eventually devalue the festivals themselves.

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Angola | France | Portugal


Portuguese | French

Release Date:

13 May 2004 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

A hős See more »

Filming Locations:

Luanda, Angola

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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