All Is Well at IndieLisboa
by Boyd van Hoeij
07/05/2012 - With the current economic climate in Portugal and the deep cuts in arts and cultural funding, not everything is well at the IndieLisboa Film Festival, which celebrates its 9th edition this year.
But one of the Portuguese titles screened at the festival, All Is Well, knows something of the value of irony.
Lusophone director Pocas Pascoal, who was born in Angola, premiered her debut feature at the festival in the Emerging Cinema section. The film was also part of the National Competition.
Inspired by events in her own life, All Is Well tells the story of two young Angolan sisters (Cheila Lima, Ciomara Morais) who are in their teens and who find themselves alone in Lisbon when their mother has to forego accompanying them there because of unresolved matters at home.
Set during the summer of 1980, when a civil war raged in the former Portuguese colony that became independent in 1975, it shows the girls, aged 16 and 17, trying to survive in a city they don't know and with money running out.
In simple and straightforward scenes, the siblings are shown trying to get by, finding a place to sleep and a job without the necessary paperwork.
Initially, they speak to their mother on them phone, leading to the older of the two sisters to lie to her using the film's title so as not to worry her. But when her mother stops calling them, the sisters become increasingly worried.
Shot on a modest budget, All Is Well tells a story of misfortune, racism and the strength of survival.
The film, written by the director and Marc Pernet, was produced by Luís Correia for LX Filmes.