Punto de Vista 2022 Winners
Projection format: DCP
Direction: Marta Ramos, José Oliveira
Cinematographer: José António Loureiro, Manuel Pinto Barros, Pedro Bessa
Editor: José Oliveira, Marta Ramos
Sound: Felipe Zenícola, Bernardo Theriaga
Production: Abel Ribeiro Chaves, José Oliveira, Marta Ramos
Filmografia: Paz (2021), Guerra (2020), 35 anos depois, O movimento das coisas (2014), O Atirador (2013), Times Are Changing, Not Me (2012), Sem Abrigo (2012).
Doclisboa, Mostra Internacional de Cinema de São Paulo, Porto/Post/Doc, MDOC - Festival Internacional de Documentário de Melgaço.
To which war does the title allude? The initial response would be the Portuguese colonial war in Africa (1961-1974), the one which has hit several generations who still live, dream, work and die in both geographies, and whose memory is still far from complete today. The anecdotes about that war which run around Portugal, the small or great traumatic stories which people tell or keep to themselves nourish the plot of this film, conceived, walked, talked and written by José Lopes, its leading actor, along with José Oliveira, who co-directed it with Marta Ramos. And who is, or rather who was José Lopes? It’s impossible not to wonder when you see Guerra. Few presences have been more intense and moving than his in cinema in recent years. To begin with, José Lopes here is his character, Manuel, alias “Manecas”, a war veteran who lives, walks and dreams —nightmares more than anything— in Lisbon, who has a partner from whom he distances himself and a son who is better than him. He also has a mother, in the cemetery, whom he goes to see at night to recount the events of the day. And ghosts all around: his brothers in arms above all, the veterans he meets to eat, drink, sing and cry, all present though not all alive anymore. But there is a second meaning to that same title, a meaning which points to the permanence of all wars: yesterday’s wars, today’s wars, every day’s wars. Ones which have nothing to do with Manecas but with Zé Lopes and with everyone. These are the wars for which the film reserves its darkness and its crudest light, the ones that it condenses, structures, elides, symbolises, spatialises, temporalises. Ana, the psychologist, says it in one of the most extraordinary sequences of the film, all overlapping words and images, while we listen to coffee filtering (coffee!): “You fled to Africa, you got on a boat, months and months, you killed, you saw people die... And did you come back a changed man? You died a thousand times, they killed you a thousand times, you killed a thousand times... Salazar? The blacks? The world? The money? You?”