(NOSSA SENHORA DA LOJA DO CHINÊS)
OUR LADY OF THE CHINESE SHOP
Allegory, Suspense and Political Thriller | Running Time: 98 minutes
2022 / Portuguese and Mandarin dialogue
Country: AngolaDirected by: Ery Claver
A director and DoP. He worked on several shorts, including “Lucy in the Sky with Traffic Lights” (2018), and “Enóquio que não tinha coração” (2020) with Evan Clever. Ery’s work was screened at several international festivals, and “Our Lady of the Chinese Shop” is his first feature.
CastClaudia Pucuta, David Caracol, Willi Ribeiro
Angolan director Ery Claver spins an allegory of modern Africa from this fable about a Chinese merchant’s imported plastic model of the Virgin Mary and the quite miraculous ripple effect it has on members of a poor community grasping for answers. “The Chinese did a beautiful thing,” says a puffed-up barber, who sees an opportunity to branch out from cutting beards by starting a cult. Amongst others, the icon affects Domingas, a mother in mourning whose roof is weeping more than she is; Zoyo, who is searching for his missing dog. The Marian cult is a legacy of the Portuguese, of course, but its exploitation is open to all comers in an era of runaway globalisation. That unholy muddle of influences is reflected by the film’s succession of styles, visibly clashing as Claver ramps up the sense of a discordant urban nightmare. A truly remarkable and surprising journey into Africa.