In the Angolan language of Kimbundu, kilapy means scheme, fraud, or swindle, and accordingly, The Great Kilapy tells the story of a crooked but irresistible bon vivant who, on the eve of Angolan independence in 1975, pulls off a massive swindle at the expense of the Portuguese colonial administration. Inspired by a real figure, director Zézé Gamboa’s decade-spanning historical drama is a refreshing take on the national liberation story, and turns its conventions upside down with elegance and humour. Gamboa offers a witty and compelling portrait of the last decade of Portuguese rule in Angola, and incisively depicts the world of wealth, glamour and insouciance in which the elite class moves against the background of the colonial regime’s collapse. Colorful, charming, and featuring an authentic soundtrack of rich Angolan music from the 1970s, The Great Kilapy is a vivid testament to the vitality of African cinema. (TIFF [Toronto International Film Festival 2012]. Filmed mostly in Brazil with period footage of Angola, it features Afro-Brazilian star Lázaro Ramos as the protagonist.
Co-sponsored by: Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies Brazil Initiative; African Studies Center; Department of Afro-American and African Studies; Humanities Institute; International Institute; Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Sheldon Cohn Fund, Department of Screen Arts and Cultures; and Center for European Studies.
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