With an array of prickly locals and the pictorial beauty of Cape Verde serving as backdrop, this amiable African odyssey of a son in search of his father is a breezy, Grogue-fueled delight.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2018
A quietly charismatic turn from newcomer Miguel Moreira brings affable swagger to this laidback picaresque road movie. In a performance not too far from reality, Moreira plays Miguel, an aspiring musician with a knack for smooth talk, who is coasting listlessly through a life of construction work, petty shoplifting and womanising in Portugal. When he learns his father (who he has never met but greatly resembles) is residing in Cape Verde, Miguel impulsively buys a one-way ticket and sets out to track him down. Thus begins a deeply pleasurable African odyssey brimming with colourful characters, gorgeous scenery, boozy encounters and some requisite soul-searching. Directors Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra are best known as documentarians – Moreira was actually a subject in their previous feature, which shone a light on undocumented Cape Verdeans living in Portugal. Those observational roots lend themselves beautifully to this perennially chill screen journey, one that is light on incident but loaded with verisimilitude and breezy charm. — JF
“Like its central character, the film has a leisurely, slightly woozy appeal… It’s not hard to see why, having already made a film about Moreira, Reis and Miller Guerra decided to work with him again. With his amiable demeanour and his dreads cantilevering at crazy angles, he’s a striking and likeable presence. His laugh – booming, generous, infectious – crashes through the film like a wave breaking on one of the islands’ beaches… The warmth in his encounters with the people of Cape Verde is wholly persuasive.” — Wendy Ide, Screendaily