Air Conditioner (Ar Condicionado), dir. Fradique, Angola 2020, 72 min., Portuguese with English subtitles
Set against the humid backdrop of Luanda, Angolan filmmaker Fradique’s Air Conditioner playfully juxtaposes surreal events with neorealist aesthetics. Air conditioner units mysteriously fall from the sky as sounds are abstracted or decelerated to slow motion; a protagonist recalls the nightmare of a dry, waterless sea while attempts are made to rebuild people’s lives after the civil war. As characters move languidly, music and sound shape the city and our perceptions of its chaotic hum. Written, produced and shot in an almost dreamlike tone by collective Geração 80, and introduced by Cafuxi’s atmospheric photographs of Luanda, Air Conditioner probes the effects of political secrecy while expanding the possibilities of the cinema of the real.
The screening is followed by a live Q&A with director Fradique, hosted by Festival curator Nico Marzano, on 13 December, at 7:30pm.