Zhao Liang’s Behemoth awarded at Porto/Post/Doc
by Vitor Pinto
- Coming of Age by Teboho Edkins received the Biberstein Gusmao Award, which celebrates emerging directors
The French-Chinese documentary Behemoth [+see also:
film profile] by Zhao Liang was the big winner at Porto/Post/Doc, the second edition of which came to an end last night. Previously revealed at the latest Venice Film Festival, Behemoth portrays the devastating consequences that open-cast mining has had both on the environment in Mongolia and on the health of miners and ironworkers. After decades of breathing in coal dust, death seems just around the corner for these men. The film also won the Teenage Award, given out by 13 students from local high schools.
A Special Mention was given to Exotica, Erotica, Etc [+see also:
film profile] by Evangelia Kranioti, a film that establishes a poetic bond between the imagery of sailing and prostitution (read more).
The Biberstein Gusmao Award, which celebrates emerging filmmakers, went to Teboho Edkins for Coming of Age [+see also:
film profile]. The film took the director back to Lesotho – where he once lived as a young man – to follow the lives of two brothers and two girlfriends as they are forced to choose between continuing their family shepherding tradition or leaving the village to carry on with their secondary-school studies.
Besides the awards ceremony, the last day of Porto/Post/Doc also screened several titles, among them The Cause and the Shadow by Portuguese director Tiago Afonso. The film, produced by Bando à Parte and shot over four years in Portugal and Brazil, focuses on the life of Portuguese priest-turned-revolutionary Alípio de Freitas, who was arrested and tortured during the Brazilian military dictatorship. De Freitas – now an old man who went blind during the making of the film – was present at the Rivoli Theatre and delivered a poignant speech at the Q&A that followed the screening.