Atlantic Heart

African Pictures | 2016 | 87 minutes

Stranger Says:

Twenty-five years ago, I walked out of a jumbo jet and into the hot night air of Cape Verde. This was a refueling stop for a South African Airlines flight from Johannesburg to New York City. I walked down the steps and toward an area that had a little business. All were closed and in a building that had fallen into ruin. A dog appeared from and almost immediately disappeared into the dark. Thirty minutes later, I was back on the jumbo, listening to the rising roar of its engines. That very brief and almost totally dark moment in Cape Verde received lots of light and detail from the movie Atlantic Heart, the first feature-length film made in that country of islands. It’s about a young man, his very cute puppy, his always drunk father, and an island flower named Telma. All around Telma’s beauty are homes and businesses that look very much like that building I saw at the refueling stop. Those familiar with Ramin Bahrani’s second feature film Chop Shop will immediately recognize stylistic and thematic similarities. Atlantic Heart also has a lively score. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

SIFF Says:

After losing their dog amid the chaos of Mardi Gras on the African island country of Cape Verde, teenage siblings Lucas and Telma begin a quest that leads them through bars, bordellos, and back streets, exposing them to the harsh realities of island life.

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Film Credits
Robbie McCallum
Elton Medina, Aurizania Monteiro, Julio Brito, Christian Neves, José 'Bana' Delgado
SIFF 2016