No Man's Land. Courtesy of FIDMarseille International Film Festival

No Man’s Land / Redemption

No Man’s Land 
Portugal. Dir. Salomé Lamas. 2012, 72 mins. DCP. Is Paulo de Figueiredo a mythomaniac? Starting out as a soldier in Angola, he says, but keen to cut off the ears of black people during the war for independence from Portuguese colonization, he then worked as a mercenary here and there, and finally for various European states against the Basque movement. In a unique and stripped down interior, Paulo calmly boasts of his evilness, his efficiency, and his skill as a Samurai killer, until the camera cuts away to show him in the middle of African immigrants, cooking under a bridge, a typical pathetic tramp, suddenly disarmed to play housemaid. The real career path, whatever the details, of someone who has always confused horror with the ordinary, is explored in this mesmerizing and adventurous film by artist and videomaker Salomé Lamas.

Preceded by:
Portugal/France/Germany/Italy. Dir. Miguel Gomes. 2013, 26 mins. 35mm. On January 21, 1975, in a village in the north of Portugal, a child writes to his parents who are in Angola to tell them how sad Portugal is. On July 13, 2011, in Milan, an old man remembers his first love. On May 6, 2012, in Paris, a man tells his baby daughter that he will never be a real father. During a wedding ceremony on September 3, 1977, in Leipzig, the bride battles against a Wagner opera that she cannot get out of her head. But where and when have these four poor devils begun searching for redemption? Composed entirely from found footage, the film features four monologues, one performed by FID Marseille programmer Jean-Pierre Rehm.

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