Film Release: After the Night (Até Ver A Luz), Basil da Cunha

Portuguese filmmaker Basil da Cunha’s new film After the Night (Até Ver A Luz) will be released in cinemas 25 April. Da Cunha’s authentic crime story is set in the backstreets of Lisbon, in which he strives for a brash realism, using local actors and improvised dialogue.

After winning acclaim at several major film events, including Festival de Cannes 2013, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2014 and the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs festival, After the Night comes in the same strand as City of God and La Haine, able to build complex and dark narratives expressing the true craftsmanship of Portuguese filmmaking.

Reboleira, the poverty-stricken suburb of Lisbon that once formed the backdrop to Basil da Cunha’s two short films Sunfish (Nuvem) and The Living Also Cry (Os vivos também choram), becomes ones again the setting for his powerful feature debut. Unlike colleague director Pedro Costa, who also situated his stories in a suburb of Lisbon, Da Cunha tells his story more in the style of the classic film noir, with a bare crime story and narrow corridors and small rooms where it always seems to be night.

An outcast living a solitary nocturnal life with an Iguana named Dragon as his only friend, Sombra wanders around the Creole slums of Lisbon as he is looking for cash to pay back the local gang boss. Dragged into an armed robbery, he runs away and is chased until the early hours of the day.

Watch the film trailer

1. Film still from After the Night (Até Ver A Luz), 2014, Basil da Cunha.