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Mosquito

Mosquito

A film by João Nuno Pinto

Starring João Nunes Monteiro, Sebastian Jehkul, Filipe Duarte, Josefina Massango

Dreaming of great adventures and of standing up for his homeland, a young Portuguese man enlists in the army during World War I and is sent to the front line in Mozambique, Africa. Left behind by his platoon, he sets out on a grueling trek across the mystic Makua native land, walking for over a thousand kilometers, in search of his dream.

  • Official website
  • 2019, Genre: War, Drama, Historical | Language: Portuguese | 122 min.

Release date

Cast

JOÃO NUNES MONTEIRO

MIGUEL MOREIRA

JOÃO LAGARTO
FILIPE DUARTE
ALFREDO BRITO
MIGUEL BORGES
CESÁRIO MONTEIRO
JOÃO VICENTE
MANUEL JOÃO VIEIRA
NUNO PRETO
AQUIRASSE NIPITA
MESSIAS JOÃO
MÁRIO MABJAIA
SEBASTIAN JEHKUL
JOSSEFINA MASSANGO
HERMELINDA SIMELA
MARIA CLOTILDE
GIGLIOLA ZACARA
GEZEBEL MACOVELA

with the special participation of
ANA MAGAIA and CAMANÉ

Crew

Directed by

JOÃO NUNO PINTO


Written by
FERNANDA POLACOW
GONÇALO WADDINGTON

Original ideia
JOÃO NUNO PINTO


Cinematography
ADOLPHO VELOSO
 
Art direction
NUNO GABRIEL MELLO, TIGRE DE FOGO


Film editing
GUSTAVO GIANI


Music by
JUSTIN MELLAND


Sound
GITA CERVEIRA

TIAGO RAPOSINHO

MATTHIEU DENIAU


Costume design
LUCHA D`OREY


Casting
RICARDO MOURA


Produced by
PAULO BRANCO


Co-produced by
ANA PINHÃO MOURA

MARIO PEIXOTO


Executive producers
ANA PINHÃO MOURA

ENRICO SARAIVA


A LEOPARDO FILMES production

In coproduction with

ALFAMA FILMS PRODUCTION

APM PRODUÇÕES
DELICATESSEN FILMS
MAPIKO FILMES


With the financial support of 

ICA Instituto Cinema e Audiovisual
RTP Rádio e Televisão de Portugal
L’Aide Aux Cinemas du Monde
CNC Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée - Institut Francais
L’aide à la Coproduction D’œuvres Cinématographiques Franco-portugaises
Creative Europe Programme Media Of The European Union
Programa Ibermedia


With the support of
INAC Instituto Nacional Audiovisual e Cinema, Mozambique

Director's biography

João Nuno Pinto is a Portuguese director, born in 1969 at Lourenço Marques, Mozambique. He moved to Portugal at the age of 5, shortly after the independence of the former Portuguese colony. In his latest years he has lived in Lisbon and São Paulo.


With a consolidated international career in advertising, in 2010 João Nuno Pinto premiered America, his first feature, an ironic look at contemporary Portugal through the eyes of illegal immigrants. The film was acclaimed in Portugal, Spain, and Brazil. It was selected and awarded by several film festivals around the world.


Mosquito, his latest film, co-written by his wife, the screenwriter Fernanda Polacow, and Gonçalo Waddington, is inspired by João Nuno Pinto’s grandfather's story in Africa during World War I and took almost 7 years to prepare.
 
Director's filmography:
Mosquito (2019)
Don’t Swim (short film, 2015)
America (2010)
Skype Me (short film, 2008)

  • IFFR – International Film Festival Rotterdam

    Official Selection - Big Screen Competition - Opening Film

  • Luxembourg City

    Film Festival

  • Gröningen Film Festival

    Netherlands

  • 34th Braunschweig International Film Festival

    Germany

  • Bengaluru Film Festival

    India

  • Geneva Film Festival

    Swiss

  • Lucca Film Festival

    Italy

  • Scanorama Film Festival

    Lituania

  • Split Film Festival

    Croatia

  • Tapei International Film Festival

    Taiwan

João Nuno Pinto

Director’s Statement

"Reality is not in leaving or arriving: it comes to us halfway through the journey."

(Guimarães Rosa, Brazilian writer)


In 1917, aged 17, my grandfather landed in Mozambique along with the 4th Portuguese Expeditionary Company, in order to defend the Portuguese ex-colony against the German threat. Like so many other European soldiers in Africa during World War I, they had to walk hundreds of kilometers every day, facing hard deprivations, diseases, hunger and thirst. The only difference is that he did it all by himself, completely alone, looking for the war and for his dreams of glory. Although Mosquito is inspired by my grandfather’s journey in Africa, no one really knows what he went through during his long and solitary journey. This is where fiction and the meaning I want to convey the narrative comes in.
 
The way we Europeans and others still deal with African issues today reflects our colonial past and the long years of indoctrination of a certain paternalistic ideal about Africa. Mosquito uses a history of the past to confront us with choices of the present. Through the story of young Zacarias we are confronted with the horror of the war, and the subjugation of African people by the Europeans, through colonial domination. The film gives us a little more insight into a forgotten piece of our history, World War I in Africa, forcing us to reflect on a much longer period, when it was our right to subjugate and “civilize” other people who we conveniently considered to be inferior.
 
Private Zacarias’ lonely journey searching for his platoon is the backbone of the story. Through its clear references to classical Greek narrative, Mosquito navigates within the genre of an epic film, which makes it universal in its dialectic. Yet, it is not merely concerned with using the genre's classical codes, but also a language and a narrative approach that breaks away from conventions, meeting a more authorial universe. In a way, the film's unique approach dissociates it from a classical form and embraces a more raw and contemporary narrative, putting us closer to the (less and less) innocent look of the young soldier.
 
The film shows a kind of fluctuation between reality and fantasy, past and present, the fabrication and the everyday. The situations may seem fantastic but they are real. The hallucinations may seem real but they are built by a troubled mind. And its remembrances appear like scattered fragments of the memory. The idea of the reality versus the imaginary is important because of its closeness with the creation of history and war itself. That is part of Mosquito’s narrative: exploring the imaginary space left blurred by the historical amnesia.

News about Mosquito

“Mosquito”, a film by João Nuno Pinto, premieres in France on June 22nd. The film will be screening in 19 theaters

Mosquito, directed by João Nuno Pinto and written by Fernanda Polacow and Gonçalo Waddington, arrives in the French theaters on June 22nd. Starring João Nunes Monteiro and produced by Paulo Branco, the film is inspired by the experience of the director's grandfather, who was part of the Portuguese army that fought German forces in Mozambique during the First World War and is one of the films featured in the reopening of the French theaters. On the 22nd of June it premieres in 9 of the most important theaters in several cities in France, followed by another 10 in the following weeks (to see calendar, click here).

IFFR – International Film Festival Rotterdam – Opening Film - MOSQUITO by João Nuno Pinto

The IFFR – International Film Festival Rotterdam announces today that MOSQUITO, João Nuno Pinto's new film, produced by Paulo Branco, a Leopardo Filmes production, co-produced by Alfama Films Production (France), APM Produções (Portugal) , Delicatessen Films (Brazil) and Mapiko Filmes (Mozambique), will be the opening film of the IFFR - International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020, which will take place from January 22nd to February 2nd, where it will be competing in the Big Screen Competition section, for the Big Screen Award.

Press review

Premiering at the 2020 Rotterdam film festival, João Nuno Pinto’s MOSQUITO is an provocative, if derivative, odyssey into the heart of colonial darkness.

Jorge Mourinha, The Flickering Wall

João Nuno Pinto's Portuguese World-War-One drama tackles Portugal's colonial shady past in Africa.

Ard Vijn, Screen Anarchy

Rotterdam’s opening film is a fever dream account of a young Portuguese soldier’s experiences in 1917 Mozambique.

Screen Daily

Pinto crafts a stark depiction of the morally grey, crafting a character that demonstrates every facet of the human condition; he’s flawed and easily led, yet also masterfully empathetic.

Nathanial Eker, UK Film Review

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