With director Pocas Pascoal in attendance, AfricAvenir International invites you to the Berlin Premiere of the awards winning feature film „Por aqui Tudo Bem" (All is Well, 2011, Portugese with German Subtitles) on Sunday, 19 January 2014 at 17h30 at Hackesche Höfe Kino. In the late summer of 1980, Alda and her sister Maria, at the age of 16 and 17, arrive in Lisbon to escape the civil war in Angola. Left to themselves, they must learn to survive in a foreign city. Alda and Maria, from scratch will build a new life and become women. When problems nearly become unbearable, dreadful news fall upon them. Paradoxically, it is this terrifying news that give them the strength to decide their own fate. In her much acclaimed debut, director Pascoal works up her own personal story of escape and exile and at the same time tells the story of a whole generation of Angolan refugees.
Following the screening there will be an audience talk with director Pocas Pascoal as well as a small reception in the foyer of the cinema.
With the financial support of BMZ, Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst, Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation and in cooperation with Africiné, Allacine, SEV Magazin, dem Club der Freunde von RFI, Berlin Poche, |+| rendez-vous-cine.de, Exberliner, multicult.fm, Art Labour Archives, Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD), Cinema Negro, Berlinda, Humboldt Universität, Zentrum Moderner Orient und Planète Métis.n
ALL IS WELL is the first feature film directed by Pocas Pascoal. Intimate and semi autobiographical, the film relives a very specific moment in Portuguese History: the years that followed Angola’s independence. The independence of former colonies in 1975 marked a new wave of African immigration that continues to this day.nIn the late 70’s, this African migration dramatically increased with the beginning of Angola’s Civil War and thousands of Angolans arrived in Lisbon in highly precarious conditions. How did Lisbon cope with this demographic explosion? How did these new communities secure their survival? And what about their integration?
In the early 80’s, thousands of young people lived in a sort of no man’s land, between a past that they could no longer return to and a future that didn’t seem to exist. And it is precisely at that time of great uncertainty, when only survival seems to matter, that we find the characters in this film. But they represent one of the less visible sides of that community that hugely increased with the years, and that participated and contributed to the great revolution of customs that Portugal lived in the early 80’s.
With the beginning of the war in Angola, thousands of refugees escaped the country, leaving their lives and families behind. As an adolescent girl, I was part of that surge. With just a bit of money in our pockets, my mother sent my sister and me in an airplane to Lisbon. With Angola at war, Lisbon appeared to us as a promise of freedom.
We arrived with our hearts filled with hope. But as my mother prepared to join us, the government forbade Angolans to leave the country. At only 16 years of age, my sister and I were suddenly alone and helpless in Lisbon. In this film I am humbly inspired by my own story and by that of those who I encountered. Just like my sister and I, Alda and Maria, the two heroines in the film, face their difficulties with certain ingenuity and manage to remain united and positive against all odds. Their innocence that is so characteristic to their age will allow them to survive and at the same time become women.
In this story it is my intent to portray a young generation fractured by war, parted from its origins and in danger of losing its identity due to exile.
“All is Well, a Lisbon-set exploration of the immigrant experience and, especially, of the bond between siblings, is a work of striking visual eloquence and emotional honesty. As sisters navigating a new country, together and separately, Cheila Lima and Ciomara Morais deliver performances of searing intimacy. Filmmaker Pocas Pascoal has transformed her personal story of exile from Angola into a deeply affecting drama, whose cinematic power if particularly impressive in the work of a first-time feature director.” Jury, Los Angeles Film Festival
“This pearl of Angolan filmmaking has reminded me of another touching and late debut: „Les Silences du palais“ by tunesian director Moufida Tlati in 1994. At least in the tenderness of its feminine touch and because of the perceptible intimacy in the director’s work with the actresses.“ Leonardo De Franceschi, 22. Festival del Cinema Africano, d’Asia e America Latina
"The film precisely and analytically captures the precariousness of being a stranger with no safety net to fall back on, of not knowing whether the person you’re encountering on the street is safe to talk to or not." Oscar Moralde, slant magazine
"Above all, Pascoal is steadfast in presenting Alda and Maria as people, not symbols, regardless of how politically charged their milieu might be. The film’s clear-eyed realism helps us empathize with these sisters as psychologically nuanced characters rather than mere types standing in for an entire generation. Their bond as sisters, frayed through struggle, feels utterly genuine. The dilemma they face of whether to try and build a better life in the West or to return and piece a broken homeland back together: That may be a dilemma faced by a generation of exiles, but it’s also a specific struggle faced by a pair of siblings who have survived so much and are certain of so little." Oscar Moralde, slant magazine
"A subtle, nuanced drama, All is Well measures the impending danger of the Angolan civil war on this family through the presence of a pay phone. It is here that both sisters await news from their mother. The phone comes to represent an uncomfortable shelter; a manifestation of what Portugal means and what it lacks as a “home” for them." Nijla Mumin, Indiewire
"One of the major achievements of this work is its ability to implant the audience so firmly into the relationship of these two women that one might feel like the third sibling at points. The actors embody this relationship with a sort of closeness that carries the narrative through slow-building scenes and more urgent ones." Nijla Mumin, Indiewire
"There’s a special importance to this film at a time when debates on immigration, exile and refugee asylum are being waged across the world. As Israel deports Sudanese migrants who fled war, and makes plans to deport thousands more, we wonder about the human faces and stories in the midst of these harsh policies. (…) When I left the theater, I could only think about these two sisters and the bond that they shared. And in the end, any discussion on exile or immigration should be centered there; with the people and their stories." Nijla Mumin, Indiewire
"Por aqui tudo bem by Pocas Pascoal is a film which tells us what happened to an entire generation of Angolans. This includes the director of this movie and her sister. For many years young Angolans were sent to Portugal by their parents to escape the war that was devasting their country." AfricaNews
About the Filmmaker
Angolan Pocas Pascoal studied at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français and in 2002 was part of a group of artists at the Cité Internationale des Arts, taking part in several exhibitions of contemporary art. In 2003, she directed the documentary Il y a toujours quelqu’un qui t’aime | There is always someone who loves you, which was awarded a prize by the Société Civile des Auteurs Multimedia and was selected for several festivals. Por aqui tudo bem is her first feature film.
- Best Narrative Feature – Los Angeles FF
- TAP Award for Best Portuguese Fiction Feature Film – IndieLisboa
- Best Actress – Carthage FF
- FESPACO: European Union Award
R: Pocas Pascoal, Portugal 2011, 94 min, Portugese with German Subtitles
With Cheila Lima, Ciomara Morais, Vera Cruz, Willion Brandão
Sunday, 19 January 2014
Entrance: 7,50 €
Tickets und Information
030/ 283 4603
Hackesche Höfe Kino
S Hackescher Markt
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