Being together again will brighten our lives for at least 30 years. Costa combined various Cape Verdean immigrants’ letters home and a note written by the surrealist poet Robert Desnos to his wife shortly before his death to create the letter at the center of one of his richest, most staggeringly complex films. Its author is Ventura, an aging Cape Verdean immigrant who spends his days visiting the residents of a neighborhood that no longer exists. His wife has left him; his “children,” as he calls them, have mostly been relocated to sterile housing projects; and it is in the letter he recites throughout the movie that his hopes have all been packed. Colossal Youth was a second leap forward for Costa after the groundbreaking In Vanda’s Room. It now seems that this shadowy, profoundly sad ghost story permitted him to move from the geographically rooted studies of Fontainhas to the abstract, jagged mental spaces in which his most recent work takes place. 35mm print courtesy of Cinemateca Portuguesa.
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