African Perspectives: "O Heroi" by Zeze Gamboa, 29 May 2010 at Studio 77 in Windhoek

o heroi

On Saturday, 29 May 2010 at 19h AfricAvenir Windhoek in the framework of its monthly filmseries “African Perspectives”, presents the movie "O Heroi" by Zeze Gamboa, a film about the story of Angola, a nation torn apart by forty years of uninterrupted war, and now trying imperfectly but courageously to piece itself back together. Studio 77, Entrance: 20,-N$.

O Heroi
By Zeze Gamboa
2004, Angola/Portugal/France, 97 min, Orig. with Engl. subtitles

Date: 29. May 2010
Time: 19h00
Venue: Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex, entrance via Garten Str.
Entrance: 20,- N$


Synopsis:
The Hero (O Herói) is the story of Angola, a nation torn apart by forty years of uninterrupted war, and now trying imperfectly but courageously to piece itself back together. It is also the story of a city, Luanda, trying to absorb the millions of people displaced by civil strife and global economic change.

Zézé Gamboa, director of the film, has stated that he considers himself in the camp of African filmmakers who see their work as contributing directly to the task of national reconstruction. “The Hero is a universal story. In Central Europe, Latin America, Africa and in all the places where there is or there was war, hundreds of thousands must deal with the stigma, try to survive and become a part of post-war society. The aim of this movie is to show children - the former instruments of war—that it is possible to live in peace.”

The central character of the film, the hero of the title, is Vitório. We meet him at a hospital where he has been waiting for months for a prosthetic leg to replace the one he lost after stepping on a landmine, ironically in the last months of Angola’s civil war. He was impressed into service at age fifteen while at a seminary and has been fighting for twenty years since. A doctor finally takes pity on him and gives him a new leg; Vitório is compared to someone beginning a new life. But the decorated war veteran encounters little sympathy and much prejudice for an unskilled soldier with a prosthetic limb as he scours Luanda looking for a job…

Press Comments:
"The Hero tells an inspiring and honest story of how the Angolan people are trying to reconstruct their lives with dignity and resiliency"
George Wright, Author, The Destruction of a Nation: The United States Policy Towards Angola since 1945

"A 20-year veteran of the 30-year-old Angolan civil war finds assimilation into the chaotic life of the capital city of Luanda a challenge in this affecting drama. Gamboa shows an assured directorial hand by managing the multiple storylines with aplomb."
Variety

"One of those movies that are sad without being depressing because of the generosity and warmth fhe filmmaker brings to the story. It owes an obvious debt to The Bicycle Thief and is infused with the durable spirit of Italian neo-realism. Its presence here did Sundance proud."
New York Times

Awards/Prizes/Festivals:

  • FESPACO 2005, best camera
  • Sundance Filmfestival Los Angeles 2005, Grand Jury Prize
  • Capetown World Cinema Festival
  • Nantes Three Continents Festival 2004, Audience Award
  • Cannes Film Festival 2007, Official Selection Tous Les Cinemas du Monde

About the director:Zeze Gamboa was born in 1955 in Luanda, Angola, and began his career as a director of the TV news and programmes of information of Angolese television. Since then he has made documentaries. The Hero is his first feature film.

This movie is presented in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Namibia, Studio 77, Bank Windhoek Arts Festival, Hendrik Ehlers Consulting, the FNCC, Pro Helvetia Cape Town and the Angolan Embassy in Namibia.

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