The Hero (O Herói) (2005)
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The physical and emotional toll of Angola's civil war -- a conflict which spanned nearly four decades -- sets the stage for this powerful drama. Vitorio (Oumar Makena Diop) volunteered for the army when he was a 15-year-old seminary student. Twenty years later, he lost his leg in an explosion only a few months before the war finally ground to a halt, and after a long stay in a military hospital, Vitorio was finally given an artificial leg and released. However, after returning home to Luanda, Vitorio learns no one wants to give a thirtysomething veteran with no work experience a job, and he ends up living on the street, where his medals and his leg are soon stolen by ruffians. Vitorio strikes up a friendship with another one of society's outcasts, Maria Barbara (Maria Ceica), a prostitute who has lost her son and hopes to find him by appearing on a television program which daily broadcasts the pleas of family members. Meanwhile, the streets of Luanda are also home to Manu (Milton Coelho), a ten-year-old boy who has become a petty thief as he searches for his father, refusing to believe he could have been killed in the war. And Joana (Patricia Bull) is a schoolteacher whose faith in her nation has been shattered by the war; realizing Manu's intelligence, she attempts to tutor the boy, and having encountered Vitorio, she tries to find a new leg for the tragic veteran. The Hero was the first feature-length drama from filmmaker Zeze Gamboa; the film received its American premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The Hero (O Herói)
Despite the film's obviousness, it does illustrate the many ways war rends society.
An emotionally involving drama set in Angola about the valiant and unheralded heroism of poor people struggling to survive after a thirty year civil war.
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