Just after receiving the 2023 Doc Alliance Award at Dokufest for his documentary “Death of a City”, filmmaker João Rosas sat down with us to chat about his film and revealed how it evolved from following the construction of a building to focusing on the human stories of those doing the work.
About Death of a City In the heart of Bairro Alto, right in the centre of Lisbon, the building of an old printing workshop is demolished to make way for a development of luxury apartments. Seeing this demolition as a perfect image for the death of a certain Lisbon in the wake of the financial crisis and the ensuing real estate and touristic boom, the director proposes to film an urban diary portraying the daily life of the construction site and those who work there. What starts out as a work-centred film turns out to be the story of the director’s relationship with his hometown and with the people who build it, a polyphonic narrative made up of their life stories of labour and immigration, shining a light on the violence and destruction that hide under the progress of our cities.
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