Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Festivales de Buenos Aires

Mal nascida

april 12

Abasto Shopping

Room: HOYTS9


Film information

Director ← [ + info ]

João Canijo

At the presentation of his latest film Sangue do meu sangue in the San Sebastián Film Festival, João Canijo explained how this film –and his entire work– tries to reflect the Portuguese social reality without having to show everything that marks and conditions it. Canijo picks moments in his characters’ lives because “when testifying on a concrete reality you don’t need to show everything for something to remain”.

This is the perspective of Canijo, who was born in Lisbon in 1958 and trained as an assistant director and production head in films by Manoel de Oliveira, and others Wim Wenders and Werner Schroeter shot in Portuguese locations.

His first film Três menos eu already hints the master lines of his following works, at least on a thematic level, since it focuses its attention on the members of a family: dismembered lives joined by a cinematographic style that appeals to both modernity and the classic elements of melodrama and paper serials. In Sapatos pretos he explores the differences between the country and the city through a crime story based on true events.

On the contrary, his next two films describe urban suburbs with an openly naturalist tone: set on the poor neighborhoods of Paris, Get a Life takes him back to the family core and depicts another mother/son relationship. In Noite escura, he will dig into the business of prostitution and Russian mobs. Both films feature co-writer Pierre Hodgson, a collaborator of Philippe Grandrieux in Sombre. Mal nascida and Sangue do meu sangue follow the same line, with melodrama as their form and family as the content.

In the documentary field, Canijo has two interesting films. Fantasia lusitana works with archive footage that portrays a contradicting Portugal during the Second World War. Trabalho de actriz, trabalho de actor results in something more than a complement of Sangue do meu sangue, and it’s certainly not a making of, but rather an educational essay that shows the way in which Canijo and his actors elaborated together the essential features of the characters and the plot.

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