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Djon África

Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

After coming into a little money, likeable Lisbon slacker-musician Miguel (Miguel Moreira)—he prefers the nickname Djon África—goes back to his roots on the islands of Cape Verde, off Africa’s northwest coast, in search of his father. Once in the capital, Praia, he hits a dead end when he learns the aunt he was hoping would help him has been dead for a year. With vague information about some relatives who live in another town, he sets off across the island. But soon, the locals and their ways—especially the consumption of grogue, a powerful rum-based liquor—weaken his resolve, and he begins to give himself over to the island’s rhythms, especially as they manifest themselves in music… Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra’s loose and lovely film makes great use of island locations and a cast of non-professional actors as it follows our hero’s picaresque path. Along the way, the film offers an affecting lesson about what it’s like to be caught in-between: to Cape Verdeans, Djon is Portuguese, but back in Lisbon, he’s seen as Cape Verdean…

"It takes a film as self-aware, warm and open-hearted as Djon África to assuage the vexing concerns that often arise with the new generation of docu-fiction hybrids. Where many directors almost perversely toy with viewers’ inability to distinguish between truth and make-believe, Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra colour those grey spaces of uncertainty with real people whose impact on the fictional narrative adds depth and grace to their story."—Jay Weissberg, Variety


Country of Origin: Portugal/Cape Verde/Brazil
Year: 2018
Running Time: 95 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese with English subtitles
Cast: Miguel Moreira
Producer: Pedro Pinho
Screenwriter: Pedro Pinho, João Miller Guerra
Cinematographer: Vasco Viana
Editor: Eduardo Serrano, Ricardo Pretti, Luisa Homem
Production Company: Terratreme Filmes, Desvia, 0II, Uma Pedra no Sapato
Print Source: Still Moving

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