With “Ventura”, Pedro Costa goes in search of lost time

The Portuguese director very masterfully paints the poetic labyrinth of exile.

The arrival of a tank in the twilight of the city. He remembers a man hiding in the corners of the capital, afraid of being killed by soldiers. Ventura, builder of Cape Verde, a great hero who transcended the films of Pedro Costa (Forward, young people!And the Vitalina Varela), Here remember the ghosts of the past through the labyrinth of Lisbon exploration. How did they live the Carnation Revolution, the April 1974 coup organized by soldiers who gradually radicalized against the colonial wars in Africa?

Ventura (Cavallo Denheiro), an eight-year-old film, once again evokes the wonderful beings, these luminous objects captured in the geography of Fontainhas, an area now famous in the legends of the Portuguese filmmaker. Always expressive, unwavering, and steady, like birds or legends, it is the common dream of its margins that Pedro Costa is the patient and intense painter. Actors are balls of light laid in cities, amazing Lisbon trees and rocks, cut with a knife. Everything is immediately ambiguous.

rooted memories

Old age and illness, sitting on the doctor’s office bed, Ventura answers the doctor’s questions. says he has 19 years and 3 monthsThe entire film will go in search of the present into the past, heavily haunted by fragmented wanderings in dense blocks of time and space. The plans are so heavy there, like black image By Géricault hangs there, editorial and empire. Within this heaviness, monism spreads like magic in the darkness and inertia of an interworld (semi-documentary or semi-fictional). It is an entire cinematic country that Pedro Costa has shaped for over twenty years with his characters and friends, a continent inhabited by spells and long and invasive adventures, like the one started by Ventura on the edge of town. Gradually sink down a stone staircase like a cave in the center of the earth. It is a true return to the origins that takes place in an underground network, a labyrinth that allows the poetic construction of encounters between dreams and memories. Memory becomes a city as we walk there.

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Earth’s strength increases with every plane. From slum to prison, factory to construction site, places display their large, immobile statues, and souvenir scarecrows planted at night, subject to their only daydream logic: the poetic appearance of rooting. It is a way of questioning cinema (how we live in the picture) as well as immigration, aging and memory (touching the ground also means not losing your footing). In front of a large hospital, the plan that was born like a miracle is like a hallucination: a city from another time resists collapse, magnificently ruined, in the yellow and black weather of the apocalypse. As the migrant workers said well: “This is where we will continue to die.” But at Pedro Costa, we always get out of it, planting straight into a vibrant kingdom of mythical life.

VenturaWritten by Pedro Costa. With Ventura, Vitalina Varela and Tito Furtado in theaters June 15

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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