Family secrets don't stay buried long in docu helmer Ivo M. Ferreira's solid sophomore feature, "April Showers." Knowledge of the turbulence following Portugal's 1974 revolution, sweeping away decades of military dictatorship, is helpful to understanding the story of a thirtysomething discovering his leftist past, but Ferreira's strong narrative hook means interest stays high, notwithstanding a weaker second half. Skedded for local release in April, the pic could see robust home returns, while fests may find interest in this accessible Portuguese release.

Family secrets don’t stay buried long in docu helmer Ivo M. Ferreira’s solid sophomore feature, “April Showers.” Knowledge of the turbulence following Portugal’s 1974 revolution, sweeping away decades of military dictatorship, is helpful to understanding the story of a thirtysomething discovering his leftist past, but Ferreira’s strong narrative hook means interest stays high, notwithstanding a weaker second half. Skedded for local release in April, the pic could see robust home returns, while fests may find interest in this accessible Portuguese release.

While Pedro (Goncalo Waddington) helps grandma Ines (the great Adelaide Joao) pack up before moving to a nursing home, he uncovers items from 30 years earlier that appear to link his deceased father with a politically motivated kidnapping. Driven by a need to understand his family’s history, he hits the road, leaving pregnant g.f. Rita (Joana Seixas) and grandma trailing, followed by expat mom Leonor (Lidia Franco), herself a fugitive from her memories. Ferreira nicely captures generational differences in processing the past, and he shows an acute feel for atmosphere, but the ensuing journey lacks the necessary thrust, while Wild West parallels are over-scripted. Tech credits are problem-free.

April Showers

Portugal

Production

A Filmes do Tejo II production. (International sales: Insomnia World Sales, Paris.) Produced by Maria Joao Mayer, Francois D'Artemare. Directed, written by Ivo M. Ferreira.

Crew

Camera (color), Susana Gomes, Pedro Cardeira; editor, Sandro Aguilar, Rodolfo Wedelles; music, Antonio Pedro Vasques; production designer, Nuno G. Mello; costume designer, Fatima Imaginario. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Bright Future), Jan. 27, 2009. Original title: Aguas mil. Portuguese, Spanish dialogue. Running time: 77 MIN.

With

Goncalo Waddington, Joana Seixas, Hugo Tourita, Adelaide Joao, Lidia Franco, Candido Ferreira, Juan Jesus Valverde.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0