17 September 2015 | filipemanuelneto
Humor and propaganda
In this film, directed by John Mendes, we see the life of Amadeu (Rogério Paulo) and Isabel (Ana Paula). Amadeu said to his uncle, Costa (Vasco Santana), who lives in Angola, which is rich and, when his uncle comes to Lisbon, he will have to find a way to not get caught in the lie he told him.
This film is very similar in plot to the movie "O Grande Elias", which is more known to the public. The big difference is that this film should be viewed with caution because, besides being a comedy, is a piece of political propaganda. By the time this film was made, Portugal lived under a dictatorial regime deeply focused on the defense of the African colonies and the Portuguese Empire, of which Angola was the largest gem. We cannot forget also that the State controlled cinema through censorship mechanisms. The character of Vasco Santana in this film is a Portuguese who was poor to Angola and there made his fortune. He embodies the africanist and imperialist ideals that the Government wanted to convey to the people. This character has yet another defect: its full of politically incorrect cues, making several jokes and comments that we, today, find deeply racist and xenophobic. They are, however, the picture of the way of thinking of many (but not all) Portuguese who lived in the colonies of the time, and should be viewed with some historical distance.