Though it's not an explicitly gay film, there is a distinctly homoerotic sensibility to this audacious and enigmatic genre mash-up from Angolan-Portuguese director Carlos Conceicao. Tommy Guns invokes the ghosts of Angola's colonial past while embracing the symbolic power of genre filmmaking. The story begins in 1974, just one year before the country's independence from decades of Portuguese rule. Wealthy colonists are fleeing the country as Angolan revolutionaries gradually claim their land back. A tribal girl discovers love and danger when her path crosses that of a Portuguese soldier. Another group of soldiers, completely cut off from the outside world, blindly follow the brutal orders of their commander in the name of serving their country. But nothing stays fixed in this genre-shifting cinematic puzzle, which playfully swerves from art house drama to war film to zombie flick to escape thriller with exhilarating control. Winner of Best European Film and the Youth Jury Award at the Locarno Film Festival, Tommy Guns has elicited comparisons to the work of Claire Denis, Miguel Gomes and even M. Night Shyamalan, and announces a bold and exciting new voice in Portuguese and Angolan filmmaking.
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