Country: Portugal / France / Macao
Movie Review: After “To Die Like A Man”, João Pedro Rodrigues continues his incursions into the world of Portuguese travestis, this time with the help of João Rui Guerra da Mata on direction, who also plays the main character. With a completely different approach, the plot was built in mystery, following Guerra da Mata’s return to Macao to meet with an old friend named Candy, a travesti who wrote to him asking for help and saying that strange and scary things were happening there. He also takes the opportunity to reminisce his childhood, since he lived in that former Portuguese colony for several years. Presented as an enigmatic espionage thriller in which we are not allowed to see the participants’ faces, the film arouses apprehension as the trip dives into obscurity. Among failed meetings, death premonitions, threats to leave the country, and mystical components associated to the local mafia operations, there are also considerations about the multicultural Macao, described in words and images that seemed to want to guide us throughout the city. The way it was done impelled me to want to see more in order to find more about the story. It remained in my memory after watching it, as a compulsive exercise on experimentalism, set up with an exquisite storytelling and ghostly images. Awarded at Locarno with the jury’s special mention, “The Last Time I Saw Macao” stands as a very personal work presented in the form of fake-documentary, becoming highly recommended for fans of alternative cinema.