Angolan Genre-Fluid Fantasia ‘Tommy Guns’ in US Theaters This April
by Alex Billington
March 16, 2023
“S’kwata! S’kwata! S’kwata!” Kino Lorber has revealed the official trailer for a film titled Tommy Guns, made by up-and-coming filmmaker Carlos Conceição. Winner of Best European Film Award at the 2022 Locarno Film Festival, Tommy Guns has elicited comparisons to the work of Claire Denis, Miguel Gomes, and even M. Night Shyamalan, and it announces a bold and exciting new voice in Portuguese and Angolan filmmaking. Described as an “ambitious and exquisitely crafted genre-fluid fantasia.” In 1974, after years of civil war, the Portuguese and descendants fled the colony of Angola (in Central Africa) where independentist groups gradually claimed their territory back. A tribal girl discovers love and death when her path crosses that of a young Portuguese soldier. Meanwhile, another group of Portuguese soldiers is barracked inside an infinite wall from which they will have to escape once from the past comes out of the grave to claim its long-awaited justice. The film stars João Arrais, Anabela Moreira, Gustavo Sumpta, Leonor Silveira, and Miguel Amorim. Looks like an experimental creation more than anything that is really worth a watch.
Here’s the official US trailer (+ poster) for Carlos Conceição’s Tommy Guns, direct from YouTube:
Angolan-Portuguese director Carlos Conceição’s audacious and enigmatic Tommy Guns invokes the ghosts of Angola’s colonial past while embracing the symbolic power of genre filmmaking. The story begins in 1974, just one year before the country’s independence from decades of Portuguese rule. Wealthy colonists are fleeing the country as Angolan revolutionaries gradually claim their land back. A tribal girl discovers love and danger when her path crosses that of a Portuguese soldier. Another group of soldiers, completely cut off from the outside world, blindly follow the brutal orders of their commander in the name of serving their country. But nothing stays fixed in this genre-shifting cinematic puzzle, which playfully swerves from art house drama to war film to zombie flick to escape thriller with exhilarating control. Tommy Guns, also known as Nação Valente (or Brave Nation) in Portuguese, is both written and directed by Angolan-Portuguese filmmaker Carlos Conceição, director of Serpentarius and Name Above Title, plus tons of other shorts previously. This initially premiered at the 2022 Locarno Film Festival. Kino Lorber will debut Tommy Guns in select US theaters (NY & LA) starting on April 12th, 2023 this spring. Interested?
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