COLOSSAL YOUTH 

Juventude em marcha | by PEDRO COSTA | Feature film | 2006 | Portugal-France-Switzerland | 155 min

Synopsis

Ventura, a Cape Verdean laborer living in the outskirts of Lisbon, is suddenly abandoned by his wife Clotilde. Ventura feels lost between the dilapidated old quarter where he spent the last 34 years and his new lodgings in a recently-built low-cost housing complex. All the young poor souls he meets seem to become his own children.

Credits

Director/Screenplay: Pedro Costa
Cinematographer: Leonardo Simõas and Pedro Costa
Editor: Pedro Marques
Sound: Olivier Blanc
Producers: Francisco Villa-Lobos, Philippe Avril

 

Cast : Ventura Beatriz Duarte (Ventura), Vanda Duarte (Vanda), Gustavo Sumpta (Gustavo), Cila Cardoso (Cila), Isabel Cardoso (Isabel), Alberto Barros “Lento” (Lento), Antonio Semedo “Nhurro” (Nhurro).

Production: Contracosta Produçõès (Portugal), Les Films de l’Étranger (France), Ventura Film (Switzerland).
With the participation of ARTE France, RTP (Portugal), RTSI (Switzerland).
Supports: ICAM (Portugal), National Cinema Center (CNC, France).

FESTIVALS

&

AWARDS

2006 - Cannes - 59th International Film Festival

(official Competition)

Links

World sales : Memento Films International

French distribution: Equation. Release: February 13, 2008

DVD Publishing: Equation, 2009

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Like all of the characters in Colossal Youth, Vanda and Ventura are “played” by real Cape Verdean immigrants enacting thinly fictionalized versions of their own lives, and to the extent that the film has a plot, it’s about how Ventura’s already tenuous existence descends into chaos when the demolition of the Lisbon housing project where he has lived for more than 30 years coincides with his wife’s decision to leave him. From there, Ventura sets out on an itinerant odyssey, dazedly wandering between his gutted-out former residence and a couple of prospective new ones, crossing paths with a succession of similarly displaced and/or dispossessed persons whom he refers to as his “children.”
Developed by Costa in close collaboration with his nonprofessional cast, many of whom contributed their own storylines and dialogue, Colossal Youth was whittled down by the director from more than 300 hours of footage shot over a 15-month period. The result is a harsh, nightmarish and often terribly beautiful film set against a world of peeling paint and crudely nailed planks, through which moves this solitary man grasping at the flickering embers of some real or imagined past. It is a movie in which marginal people living on the edges of society are treated with dignity and allowed to tell their own stories in their own unmistakable voices. And it is quite unlike anything that you or I have ever seen before. (…) Yet in the week since I saw the film, it has haunted my dreams and is still with me upon waking.
(Scott Foundas, Los Angeles Weekly)

 

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