Pedro Costa - State of the World (x)
I think this whole video is great but this particular section really caught my eye and really speaks to how Costa undermines the auteur label. It’s clear that he wants to show his own vision but one that is alignment with the subjects he films. It’s almost a ‘(largely) by the people, with the people, for the people’ mentality that takes into account the realities and truths of the impoverished, marginalized communities he films in Portugal. What Costa expresses above is very important because most white westerner filmmakers tend to view cinematic creation ultimately at their hands and can be molded how they want no matter what the cost to the subjects and communities and groups affected by such depictions.
I interpret the beginning of the excerpt of him creating the initial vision but in a bare outline and is largely controlled by the people who are in the film. The closest most known director who does the same is Jorge Sanjinés. In my opinion, Costa’s the only contemporary well-known white European filmmaker aside from Claire Denis who can actually make honest depictions of marginalized communities. And what I mean by that term is the colonized and descendants of the colonized (such as immigrants who come to Europe). In the case of Costa, he depicts immigrants from Cape Verde, which is a former colony of Portugal as well as inhabitants of Cape Verde like in Casa de Lava.
Honestly..kind of shame that he does so few films? But it’s also kind of great because every time he releases a new film every 5+ years it’s a masterpiece in so many ways.