The Hero

The Hero

Movie: The Hero
Director: Zeze Gamboa
Produced by: David & Golias, Gamboa & Gamboa, Le Films de L’Apres Midi
Released By: California Newsreel
MPAA Rating:

The physical and emotional toll of Angola’s civil war — a conflict which spanned nearly four decades — sets the stage for this powerful drama. Vitorio volunteered for the army when he was a 15-year-old seminary student. Twenty years later, he lost his leg in an explosion only a few months before the war finally ground to a halt, and after a long stay in a military hospital, Vitorio was finally given an artificial leg and released. However, after returning home to Luanda, Vitorio learns no one wants to give a thirtysomething veteran with no work experience a job, and he ends up living on the street, where his medals and his leg are soon stolen by ruffians. Vitorio strikes up a friendship with another one of society’s outcasts, Maria Barbara, a prostitute who has lost her son and hopes to find him by appearing on a television program which daily broadcasts the pleas of family members. Meanwhile, the streets of Luanda are also home to Manu, a ten-year-old boy who has become a petty thief as he searches for his father, refusing to believe he could have been killed in the war. And Joana is a schoolteacher whose faith in her nation has been shattered by the war, realizing Manu’s intelligence, she attempts to tutor the boy, and having encountered Vitorio, she tries to find a new leg for the tragic veteran. The Hero was the first feature-length drama from filmmaker Zeze Gamboa, the film received its American premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

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