DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema
Director - Teresa Villaverde - 2017

"Mostly clean movie"
The silent collapse of a Portuguese family due to the effects of the economic crisis makes for languid and painful watching, a rich feast for lovers of prolongue torment and gloom - live from the Berlin Film Festival


The Portuguese are best known for their unrelenting nostalgia, yearning and suffering. Those familiar with the work of the late filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira (who passed away two years ago still active at the age of 106) will know that the pace of Portuguese cinema is not for everyone’s taste. The melancholic and slow rhythm can cause stragement, stupor and even sleepiness in those more used to convoluted scripts and fast action.

The economic crisis of Europe has deeply affected the confidence and the morale of the country. A mother, a father and their daughter Marta slowly see their relatively stable household crumble to pieces. The father is unemployed and vanishes for days without explanation. Ther mother works tirelessly, but she’s still unable to make ends meet. And Marta befriends pregnant girl at school, who has a very dark secret.

Colo is a warm and deeply feminine movie. A large part of the film takes place inside the maroon-hued middle-class flat somewhere in Lisbon. These three people are seeking some sort of affection, but they are unable to vocalise it. The action in the movie is mostly dispassionate and laconic. The title of the film is Portuguese for “lap”, the most intimate place for rest and nurture. The three people desperately need “colo”, but they are unable to find it.

In the end of the movie, the three family members make very different and unorthodox arrangements so that they can carry on with their respective lives. Despite a couple of peculiar twists and a convincing photography, Colo is just too slow and too long at 136 minutes, and it’s unlikely to appeal to anyone outside the festival circuit. Unless you are into low-wattage and low-tension prolongued misery. Not recommended if you are suffering from despression or contemplating suicide.

Colo is showing in the Official Competition of the 67th Berlin Film Festival, but judging by reaction rom the critics (with large numbers walking out of the cinema), it’s unlikely to fetch any prizes. DMovies is covering the event live – just click here for more information.

This is not the only film in the Berlinale this year to deal with the consequences of joblessness in the EU: the Austrian Wild Mouse (Josef Hader) deals with the same topic, with a much more upbeat tone. Click here for our review of the movie.

Below is the film trailer:



"Mostly clean movie"

By Victor Fraga - 15-02-2017

By Victor Fraga - 15-02-2017

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of involvement in ...

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