After the Night
Time Out says
The ramshackle Reboleira quarter on the outskirts of Lisbon is so tough that Sombra (Pedro Ferreira), the main character in this Portuguese film, even carries a machete in the shower. This dreadlocked outsider, whose name translates as ‘Shadow’, is a mystery to local gang leader Olos and his cronies, so an unexplained robbery and an unpaid debt soon make him a marked man.
The plight of the redeemable hero trying not to get drawn into gang violence is standard fare in ghetto cinema, and this moderately arresting effort by Swiss-based Portuguese expat Basil da Cunha plays out largely as you’d expect, though its vivid sense of place and cultural identity gives it a distinctive tang. However, it lacks dramatic punch, partly because we never grasp why Ferreira’s nocturnal loner is worth rooting for – and wheeling on a tattooed white heavy with a prosthetic arm as a dodgy interloper within an otherwise all-black community almost smacks of inverse stereotyping. The rich palette of colour that cameraman Patrick Tresch brings to the urban deprivation is the film’s main strength.
Cast and crew
Susana Maria Mendes da Costa