Drama - Completed 2012

Angola, 1970’s, Joãozinho is the first mulatto to live in luxury, buying expensive cars and dating beautiful white girls; shocking the Portuguese mentality under the dictatorial colonial regime. He wanted to have a good life, but without knowing himself became a subversive political issue.

& Awards

Toronto - TIFF 2012
Contemporary World Cinema
    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Drama, Comedy, Second film
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Zézé GAMBOA
    • Writer(s)
    • Luís Carlos PATRAQUIM, Luís ALVARÃES
    • Producer(s)
    • Fernando VENDRELL (David & Golias), Tony GAMBOA (Gamboa & Gamboa), Assunção HERNANDES (Raiz Produções), Franck-Nicholas CHELLE (Outside the Box), Sol De CARVALHO (Promarte), Tânia ROCHA (Lata Filmes)
    • Synopsis
    • Lisbon in the mid sixties is the capital of the Portuguese colonial empire under the Sala- zar dictatorship. The war of independence is at its highest pitch, and young people in society are particularly restless.
      JOÃOZINHO (Little Johnny) is the only child of a Bank of Portugal clerk in Luanda, Angola, in Lisbon to study engineering and play basketball in the Portuguese nation- al league. But first and foremost, he is a lady killer living the high life in well-tailored suits. He becomes the protégé of CARMO, the daughter of a minister in the regime.
      He also has close friends among Angolan liberation nationalists: RUI, a Angolan medical student and PEDRO, an air force officer, who dates RITA, a Cape Verdean student. They hang out at the ‘House of Students of the Empire’, which secret police inspector, RAUL, keeps under constant surveillance. After a trumped up fight, Joãozin- ho is hauled in for questioning and Rui is packed off to army boot camp training.
      Joãozinho falls for LOLA, a fancy Spanish nightclub stripper. But Carmo is furious, and hits him with her car, ruining his knee and bringing an end to his career in sports. Joãozinho helps Rui desert to join sympathizers in France. He discovers Raul has been dating Lola and is soon forced to return to Angola.
      In Luanda, Joãozinho reconnects with his high school sweetheart, KIKA (Francisca), but she has another boyfriend. He falls in love at the movies with, MITÓ (Maria Antónia). His father is harshly critical of his lifestyle but gets him a job in the state tax office.
      Joãozinho sees his new job as the chance to skim cash off of most any transaction. He pays cash for a convertible he buys from Kika’s father, LOPES, who runs the most respected dealership in town. Pedro returns from Lisbon and the two friends tool around night clubbing. Late one night on the circuit, Joãozinho meets Kika. They make love.
      He is generous with his friends and extravagant with women. After a fellow tax office clerk discovers his embezzlement, Joãozinho just pays him off and steps up his pace. His world is anchored in Luanda’s swanky nightlife, where bandleaders play his favor- ite tunes when he walks in and the colonial war seems totally nonexistent.
      One night, lurking in the shadows at the Tamar club, Joãozinho discovers Inspector Raul from the state secret police, who was recently transferred from Lisbon.
      Lopes sponsors and automobile race where Joãozinho takes second place. On stage, Kika presents Joãozinho’s trophy with a passionate kiss, then stands defiant to her father’s protests. Later, she walk in on Joãozinho at his hotel room with Pedro and two women. Kika runs out to be given a lift by a stranger: Inspector Raul.
      Raul pals around with Joãozinho, even as he checks out all his friends and relations. Joãozinho gets wind of this but is arrested before he can take off for Lisbon. The em- bezzlement scandal is all over the newspapers.
      Joãozinho is in prison on April 25th, the day the war ends. Angola is finally en route to independence and the Portuguese ruling class goes into exile. When he is set free along with a host of imprisoned freedom fighters, Joãozinho is taken for some sort of hero
      Memoires of Joãozinho, the richest ladies man in the world, to this day remain vibrant in Luanda.
    • Partners & financing
    • ICA (Pt)
      RTP (Pt)
      Fonds Image Afrique MAE/CNC (Fr)
      ANCINE (Br)
      MEDIA- Slate Funding (UE)
      UNIDEA Award (It)
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jul 01, 2010