Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Denmark, 1997, 35mm, 94 min

Sponsored by KBCS 91.3 fm

As Jacques Rivette has said about OSSOS, a film that out Bressons Bresson, “I think it’s magnificent, I think that Costa is genuinely great.” In the slums on the outskirts of Lisbon, a child is born into extreme poverty. Tina, his young mother, tries to commit suicide in order to spare her son an impoverished life lost in advance. Saved by his father, the child is shunted around the city’s sordid streets and becomes the symbol of the fierce fight of love against death. Like CASA DE LAVA, OSSOS was shot by Bresson’s last cinematographer, Emmanuel Machuel, and features striking portraits of the leads, all plucked from the streets. Vanda Duarte, an immense presence of ambiguous sexuality, makes a memorable debut as the baby’s aunt, and her desire to continue filming, albeit in a less structured manner, spurred Costa to move to digital video and find his calling.

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