A striking movie about a nurse who brings a comatose man back to the volcanic islands of Cape Verde, Casa de Lava is a perfect entry point to the films of Pedro Costa. Its glossy, pungent colors indicate a director attuned to the possibilities of film (though he would soon switch to digital), and its themes of emigration and desire betray his restlessness (though he would soon confine his films to a single Lisbon slum). Costa's is a cinema of abnegation, and it's with Casa de Lava that the comparisons to Robert Bresson start to seem apt. (See Movie Times for details.)

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