PAFF 2014 - Sardonic Angolan Drama 'The Great Kilapy' (Con Man Becomes National Hero)
Photo Credit: S & A

PAFF 2014 - Sardonic Angolan Drama 'The Great Kilapy' (Con Man Becomes National Hero)


A new year of film festivals has officially launched with the grand-daddy of them all (here in the USA anyway) the Sundance Film Festival, just around the corner.

In February, however, all eyes will be on the Pan African Film Festival that takes place in Los Angeles, CA, which runs from February 6-172014, celebrating its 22nd anniversary.

Continuing on with highlights from this year’s event… here’s an intriguing-looking film I’ve been tracking since 2012, which will screen at the PAFF this year.

Titled O Grande Kilapy (The Great Kilapy), and directed by Angolan filmmaker Zézé Gamboa (his second scripted feature film since 2004’s The Hero), the film’s synopsis reads:

Zézé Gamboa’s sardonic historical drama follows a good-hearted, apolitical con man who, on the eve of Angolan independence in the mid-1970s, pulls off a massive swindle at the expense of the Portuguese colonial administration — and soon after finds himself hailed as a hero of the national liberation struggle.

Apparently, this apolitical man’s name is Joãozinho, and he happens to live in luxury, buying expensive cars and dating beautiful white girls, all of which shocks the Portuguese dictatorial colonial regime. He just wants to have a good life, and unintentionally becomes a subversive political hero.

Zézé Gamboa has stated that he considers himself part of a movement of African filmmakers who see their work as directly impacting the task of national reconstruction.

The Great Kilapy stars Lázaro Ramos – the man who has been called Brazil’s Denzel Washington. Some of you may already be familiar with Ramos’ work – specifically a 2005 Brazilian film titled, O Homem que Copiava (or The Man Who Copied) – a film that we’ve highlighted on S&A in the past. It won eight Brazilian Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film, Best Supporting actor and Best Supporting Actress.

I love the look of the trailer below:

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