Central Station filmmaker Walter Salles and co-director Daniela Thomas provide the second instalment of Minicine’s Modern Monochrome season, with their moody and atmospheric tale of two rootless and lonely Brazilians who form a brief, but meaningful, connection thousands of miles away from their homeland.
With a backdrop of economic woes in Brazil and a seedy underbelly of crime, prejudice and vice in “The White City” of Lisbon, as the two leads become instruments of other’s greed and criminal intent, the film oozes a sense of disillusion and helplessness, the impact of which would have been significantly lessened had it been filmed in colour and brightness.
Both Paco (Fernando Alves Pinto), an aspiring actor living with his elderly mother in Sao Paulo, and Alex (Fernanda Torres), a spiky and dissatisfied waitress in a Lisbon café, are struggling for money and a sense of identity, when the deaths of their loved ones throws them together unexpectedly. Caught up amidst a web of drug dealers and diamond smugglers as a deal goes wrong, the two unlikely and accidental fugitives find themselves fleeing through the winding streets of Lisbon and along the rugged Iberian coastline.
Despite only appearing briefly in the beginning of the film, both the presence and absence of Brazil looms large over the protagonists and the plot throughout, as, unable to escape from their heritage, of which Portugal becomes an unwelcoming extension, Paco and Alex cling desperately to the idea of escaping to somewhere they can belong.
Pursued for a violin stuffed with diamonds they don’t have, and with nowhere to hide, the desire for a new home leads them in a race to reach San Sebastian, the Spanish hometown of Paco’s deceased mother, culminating in an exciting Bonnie and Clyde-esque sequence along the Spanish border.
Romantic, haunting, and wistful, Foreign Land (original: Terra Estrangeira), captures the struggle of the individual to find a home and an identity in a cold and chaotic world, where events are often out of your control.
– Holly Thackeray
As always our feature presentation will be preceded by a selection of short films plus homemade cake and refreshment for all.
The screening takes place Thursday 27th February from 7PM (doors 6.40PM) in Armley Mills’ quaint and cosy Palace Picturehouse.
Tickets are available from our online ticket office now.