Straight out of jail, Sombra returns to his life as a drug dealer in the Creole slum of Lisbon. In between the money he has lent and can’t get back, the money he owes, a fanciful iguana, an invasive little girl and a ringleader who begins to mistrust him, he starts to think that he might have been better off in the clink…
Basil da Cunha is a 28-year-old Swiss filmmaker of Portuguese descent. In 2011 and 2012, his short films Nuvem and Os vivos também choram were selected to screen at the Director’s Fortnight where “Os vivos…” received a Special Mention from the Jury.
So the young filmmaker has a history with the festival, which speaks highly of his work. Although I can't say that I'm at all familiar with his work, or what we can expect from Até ver a luz, his feature film debut.
After watching the below trailer, I had an immediate negative reaction to the familiar *slum* (or hood) narrative and accompanying drug dealing tales and violence. I just feel like I've seen this so much already of the black experience globally. And I'm wondering what makes this one stand out from the others.
We'll see eventually.
But I'll certainly check it out if/when it comes to my neck of the woods to determine if it's one of the few *bombshells* Waintrop had in mind when he made the above comment.
The last film I watched that was set in a Creole slum in Lisbon was a 1997 minimalist drama titled Ossos by Pedro Costa
It's not subtitled in English; but I think the images tell you plenty: