Posts Tagged ‘directors’Fortnight’

Savanna and the Mountain (2024) Directors’ Fortnight

Dir: Paulo Carneiro | Portugal Doc 74’

In the ‘wonderful kingdom’ of Covas do Barroso, a peaceful Northern Portuguese mountain village, life was sweet until something started spooking the horses according to this pastoral parable premiering at Cannes 2024.

And horses aren’t stupid. In fact they’re the first notice the subtle changes that the villagers decide to investigate way up in the mountains above their homes. This is a film about the power of the people. Their determination to stand up and activating against un-democratic change, especially when it challenges their environment and their threatens their way of life.

Eco Documentarian Paulo Carneiro is well known on the festival circuit for his similarly themed short Water to Tabato in 2014 and his first feature-length documentary in 2018, Bostofrio où le ciel rejoint la Terre. The Portuguese director Portuguese filmmaker is back in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sidebar with a hybrid doc re-enactment filmed on a shoestring budget – and none the worse for it – that sees local villagers getting together to stop a government incentive aimed at extracting lithium via their contractor Savannah Mines.

The locals stage colourful demonstrations marching with uniforms, mock swords and banners bearing the sloganA mafio do litio” (The lithium mafia). They even kidnap a suspected mineworker and put him in a barrel – just for fun. Throughout the country environmentalists and opposition parties echo their sentiments and the government takes note, at least for a while. But that’s not the end of the villagers’ fight against the mining company. And it’s still raging on today. A generous, darkly funny film that nonetheless has serious undertones. @MeredithTaylor


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