Neither the animated nor the live action sections really work, leaving a lively but empty film
A man called Divino delivers a series of freestyle poems which he first did with his grandfather; these are animated and in-between he talks about his life and family.
Not entirely sure what to make of this short film; it is one that is bursting with creative force and character, but yet at the same time it seems fragmented, difficult to follow, and lacking in a point. To focus on what it does well, the mix of animation styles are engaging and mostly well done – with a mix of pixilation, stop-motion, stick- figures, and more detailed drawings, all making up the short film. These are visually well done, but have the downside that while they are on the screen, the "freestyles" are delivered at high speed and with subtitles – so your eye is working low on the screen to catch words which are really just nonsense poems, while the more creative aspect is happening elsewhere on the screen – although even the animation is only so engaging.
This leaves us with the man himself in the flesh; to a point this aspect is interesting because it frames the animated sequences and offers something more real and honest. Unfortunately, there is a lot less here than the energy of Divino would suggest. He seems like there may be a lot of story here, but really there is little to stick in the mind, apart from a moment of crudity which put me off him at a time when I was barely warming to him anyway. This does not leave a lot to the film; the animated sections are so-so and with the unfortunate distraction of subtitles for non-Portuguese speakers, and the main body is equally lacking a hook even though they are delivered with energy. Perhaps I am missing something cultural, since this is a film that has won a few awards on its time in the festival circuit, but for me it didn't work.
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