Tarrafal will have International premiere in CPH:DOX

Decades of conflict, gang dominance and violent clashes with the police have taken their toll on bodies, faces and buildings in S. João de Deus – a neighbourhood on the wrong side of the train tracks in the part of Porto where tourists never go.

cph:dox 2017
Tarrafal still

But the residents of the dilapidated neighbourhood have defended their homes and special community for just as long.

Pedro Neves continues and renews the Portuguese tradition of investigating the origins of melancholy in madness, and has created his very own variation of hard and dark social realism with an almost supernatural edge of something threatening and inexplicable. An atmosphere, which has a historical foundation in grainy VHS images of hot-tempered women who swear at the police from the windows of a dilapidated apartment block, but which in today’s moment meet us like a silent and bare-chested man on horseback. If ‘gentrification blues’ was a genre, ‘Tarrafal’ would be the sound of a hoarse voice singing at night. And as a film, it is an unmistakably Portuguese and strangely haunting experience.

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