• Manoel de Oliveira
  • Portugal
  • 1942, 70 min
Script: Manoel de Oliveira
Photography: António Mendes
Editing: Vieira de Sousa
Sound: Sousa Santos
Music: Jaime Silva (Filho)
Color: Black and white
Language: Portuguese

This, the first feature-length film by Manoel de Oliveira, has the aura of a forerunner in the use of neo-realistic aesthetics and partially also the treatment of its theme. The film's main heroes are children, but the plot and the moral lessons lie in the adult world. _ Aniki-bóbó is the battle cry of a gang of kids from a poor neighbourhood in Oporto. In a battle for the affections of the young Terezinha the gang's leader, Eduardinho, faces off with Carlitos, a shunned boy who is able to find the courage and from the window of the Shop of Temptation steals a doll that the young girl longs for. _ The story, slowly unfolding under a open sky, is about guilt and fear, about desires and criminal misdemeanours. The fact that it involves children does not detract from the weight of the film's emotions. From the very first eerie scenes the director ties the noise of the streets to metaphysics, the motion of the camera situates the magical city somewhere in the universe, and the film's heroes are transported by the power of an inevitable fate. _ All the children react to an adult world and to what is forbidden in that world. The sense of the forbidden leads to the awareness that innocence does not expiate fear, that the dream can fall apart, and jealousy is transformed into a longing for death. The children's game in this port city becomes an allegory for the consciousness of guilt and sin. _ Aniki-bóbó is the film equivalent of St. Exupéry's Le Petit Prince, a poetic story of children, exploring in depth the theme of the conduct of man, man's irreversible deeds, and the awakening of conscience.

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2006
Sections: Manoel de Oliveira
Exhibition format: 35 mm
Subtitle languages: English


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