SAO JORGE (Saint George) Film review

Director Marco Martins reunites with Nuno Lopes for this slice of social realism and social violence. When unemployed boxer Jorge (Nuno Lopez) is deep in debt thanks to the bail out horrors. The economy is in free fall and he is desperate. His wife wants out and he is on the verge of losing the only hope he has, his son. This forces his hand and he makes a very tough decision. The local hood needs an enforcer and he knows what to do. He looks like the sort of person trouble is scared of and accepts the offer of work. When fists are thrown and blood spilled, Jorge must decide if he can take this or not?

Marco Martins first film was ‘Alice’ (2005), it was a hit but in truth it was in the tradition of European cinema of the period. Its meditative and layers malise with measures of doubt and social commentary. In Saint George he is again exploring the social commentary with which he made his previous film saturated in. Here the tones of despair brought on by money worries are counterbalanced with the violence that social change. This created much deeply complex issue, none more so than the nasty financial response of big business that forced governments to pay for their mis management. The criminals that draw in Jorge are not just horrible but they are also a very thinly veiled dig at someone else. They represents the EU/ IMF / Governments etc as the bully boys. The aspects Marco Martins seems deeply interested in is that. Why we must challenge what has happened and not misdirect the events or misread them and harm the most vulnerable.  Nuno Lopes is the most amazing choice of actor for the role of Jorge. Bar the fact that the role of boxer Jorge was awarded with Best Actor en the Venice Horizon Award 2016, it is an award worth performance. He gives his tense physical frame, a warmth when with his son. a darkness when on his work and a causal jackal like state when prowling around for the next score. He is a weak person but also a special one. He works for those he loves and fights for those he hates. However his performance is so good that you are utterly mesmerized. Its a very good film that might be paced poorly but is visually stunning and has tones that are powerful and prescient for today.

Saint George will be available on iTunes, Google, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon Instant Video.

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Simon Kennedy

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