Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Russia


Portugal, beginning of the new millennium: Liza is a young Russian immigrant married to a Portuguese called Vítor. He is in fact a petty crook who lives off scams and tricking old ladies. Their son, Mauro, is a strange child who has decided not to speak. Besides her domestic chores, Liza has to take care of Vítor’s grandmother, a bed-ridden hundred-year-old lady who rejects any care that is given to her. Fernanda, Vítor’s Spanish ex-wife, taking advantage of the wave of illegal immigrants into Portugal, turns up with a proposal for a false passports business. From then on, and to Liza’s great despair, her house becomes a halfway home for countless immigrants of different nationalities and races, all looking for a better future. One of them is Andrei, a young Ukrainian orthopaedist who is wanted by the Russian mafia. Andrei ends up falling in love with Liza, who sees in him the opportunity to get out of her desperate life. But things are not as simple as that…

Director's Statement

I was born 34 years ago, in a faraway city called Lourenço Marques. At five, I landed with my family in a cold, grey, totally unknown place. My parents restarted from scratch. I simply went on. At school they called me returnee: intriguing - I’d never lived here before. AMÉRICA is a film about “stranded” people and identity: individual, group, national. Liza - trapped in an alien world for the sake of a hopeless love. In this house of forgers with the beach across the street and the Chinese shack in the back. There’s the wide endless ocean separating us from that unreachable myth - America. On this side, there’s the new America - that of the poor people, the lost opportunities and the stranded dreams. And suddenly that angry, stormy ocean hurdles a fishing boat at the house-roof. The boat is the new reality that struck us: a country which has now become an immigration target and doesn’t know how to handle it. And so the boat lingers on. A patch-up here, a push-over there, the boat stays on the roof until the very end.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: João Nuno Pinto

Written by: Melanie Dimantas, João Nuno Pinto, Luisa Costa Gomes

Produced by: Pandora Da Cunha Telles, António Da Cunha Telles, Pedro Uriol, Giya Lordkipanidze, Aleksandr Shein, Carlos Lopes, Sara Silveira, João Nuno Pinto, Miguel Varela

Editing: Luca Alverdi

Production Design: Wayne dos Santos

Original Score: Mikel Salas

Cast: Chulpan Khamatova, Fernando Luís, María Barranco, Dinarte Branco, Mikhail Yevlanov

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011