The Walker Art Center presents the area premieres of Zézé Gamboa’s The Hero (O Herói), Saturday, October 7, 8 pm, and Pedro Costa’s Colossal Youth (Juventude Em Marcha), Sunday, October 8, 1 pm, the latest films in the series Premieres: First Look, an ongoing presentation of area film premieres that gives audiences an early look at tomorrow’s critically acclaimed classics. The Hero tells the story of Vitório, a 20-year veteran of the Angolan civil war who returns to the capital city of Luanda where he faces the challenges of assimilation and survival. The film will be introduced by Fernando Arenas, Associate Professor of Portuguese, University of Minnesota, who will also lead a post-screening discussion with Walker film curator Sheryl Mousley. In Colossal Youth, Ventura, a Cape Verdean laborer living in the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal, is suddenly abandoned by his wife Clotilde. Ventura feels lost between the dilapidated old quarter where he’s spent the last 34 years and his new lodgings in a recently built low-cost housing complex. All the young poor souls he meets seem to become his own children. Colossal Youth will be introduced by Ana Paul Ferreira, Professor of Portuguese, University of Minnesota.
Luandan-born 49-year-old director, Zézé Gamboa, is at the forefront of filmmakers who are chronicling Angola’s civil war. The Hero (O Herói), his first feature film, won the Grand Prize in the World Dramatic Competition at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience prize at the 2004 Three Continents Festival in Nantes. Gamboa was a cameraman for Angolan Television from 1974 to 1980. He has made several documentaries: Mopiopio, sopro de Angola (1991); Dissidencia (1998); Burned by Blue (1999); and O Desassossego de Pessoa (1999). Bringing The Hero to the screen is the accomplishment of more than 12 years of struggle since the story’s genesis, when Gamboa saw a wounded veteran on Luanda’s streets. He considers filmmaking a direct contribution to the national reconstruction effort.
Producer, director, and screenwriter Pedro Costa graduated from the Escuela Oficial de Cinematografía in 1968, but never made a mainstream feature film until El Caso Almería (The Almería Affair) in 1983. Shortly after graduation, Costa, an outspoken opponent of Franco’s regime, made subversive militant film shorts under the name Film-Tracs. He then spent the 1970s through 1982 working as a crime journalist. In 1984, he supervised, produced, and directed an episode of the two-part series La Huella del Crimen (The Traces of the Crime). In 1991, Costa produced Vicente Aranda’s Amantes (Lovers) and Intruso (Intruder) (1993). In 1997, he directed El Crimen del Oriente and produced Ricardo Franco’s fact-based drama La Buena Estrella. His latest film, Colossal Youth (Juventude Em Marcha), competed for the Golden Palm Award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
Tickets to these screenings are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600. The screenings take place in the Walker Cinema.
Saturday, October 7, 8 pm
The Hero (O Herói)
Directed by Zézé Gamboa
Introduced by Fernando Arenas, Associate Professor of Portuguese, University of Minnesota
Set in Angola, an African nation torn apart first by its struggle against Portugal’s colonial rule and then its own civil war, this film looks compassionately at a decorated soldier as he adapts to civilian life and a prosthetic leg. With humor, romance, and practical solutions, this is a universal story of returning home to a place where war medals mean nothing when seeking a new life. The Hero received Grand Prize, World Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
2005, Angola, color, 35mm, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 97 minutes. Fernando Arenas and Walker film curator Sheryl Mousley lead a post-screening discussion.
Sunday, October 8, 1 pm
Colossal Youth (Juventude Em Marcha)
Directed by Pedro Costa
Introduced by Ana Paul Ferreira, Professor of Portuguese, University of Minnesota
“It is quite unlike anything that you or I have ever seen before.” —LA Weekly
Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa revisits the slums of Lisbon for this cascading narrative that follows Ventura, a Cape Verdean laborer, as he moves from his home in the dilapidated quarter to a stark new low-cost housing complex. Ventura’s story expands to those around him, the various lost souls he befriends during the move who willingly unload their burdens onto him. Shooting for the first time in High Definition Video, Costa captured 320 hours of footage which he pared down to this 2.5-hour feature. Colossal Youth was one of the most debated films at Cannes this year, where it competed for the Golden Palm Award.
2006, Portugal/France/Switzerland, color, 35mm, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 155 minutes.