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Fiction / Digital / 19’ / 2016

International Film Festival – Berlinale Shorts Competition, Germany '17

Born in a slum on the edge of Lisbon, Karlon played a significantly influential role in Cape Verdean Creole rap. In this fictional film, he withdraws from the place that society assigned him to and disappears into the surrounding sugarcane fields. Director João Salaviza musters people together in order to try and convince Karlon to return to the settlement.
Salaviza refrains from lightening the darkness around Karlon, the protagonist is barely recognisable. He almost always occupies the lowest third of the frame, small in the background, out of focus or only shown from the rear. He doesn’t want to be seen, he wants out of this life. He threw away everything that connects him to it in order to stay entirely alone. He just doesn’t want.
Resistance against a system that does not leave room for those who do not wish to comply. Through the title of the film, taken from the book, “Cahiers d'un Retour au Pays Natal”, Salaviza incorporates Aimé Cesaire, founder of Négritude:
The movement which fights for the cultural sovereignty of the African, while conscious of the necessity of direct political action.
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