7.1/10
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1 user 14 critic

Down to Earth (1994)

Casa de Lava (original title)
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0:35 | Trailer
The film tells a story of Mariana, a nurse who leaves Lisbon to accompany an immigrant worker in a comatose sleep on his trip home to Cape Verde. The devoted Portuguese nurse took a journey only to find herself lost in abstract drama.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Inês de Medeiros ...
Mariana (as Inês Medeiros)
...
Leão
...
Edite
Pedro Hestnes ...
Edite's Son
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cristiano Andrade Alves ...
Tano
António Andrade ...
Kilim (as Antônio Andrade)
Daniel Andrade ...
Nhelas
Manuel Andrade ...
Tcheka
Raul Andrade ...
Bassoé
Joaquim Antunes ...
Pilot 1
Monica Calle ...
Enfermeira em Lisboa
Joaquim Carvalho ...
Pilot 2
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Actor convidado
...
Actriz convidada
João Gomes de Pina ...
Bassora
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Storyline

The film tells a story of Mariana, a nurse who leaves Lisbon to accompany an immigrant worker in a comatose sleep on his trip home to Cape Verde. The devoted Portuguese nurse took a journey only to find herself lost in abstract drama.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

10 February 1995 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Down to Earth  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only film by Pedro Costa to use professional actors. See more »

Connections

Featured in Olhar o Cinema Português: 1896-2006 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Morna das sombras
Lyrics by Robert Desnos
Music by Raul Andrade
Performed by Raul Andrade
See more »

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User Reviews

Burn, baby, burn
22 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Portuguese director Pedro Costa directs "Down to Earth" (aka "House of Larva"). Like many of his other features - "Bones", "Vanda's Room", "Colossal Youth" - the film blends minimalism with surrealism, utilizes a non professional cast and is set in contemporary Cape Verde, an island off the North Western coast of Africa.

The film revolves around two characters, Mariana, a Portuguese nurse assigned to Cape Verde from Lisbon, and Leao, a black patient who awakes from a coma following a construction accident. Strangely, Leao resents being alive. He resents being back in Cape Verde, an enmity which Mariana senses and gradually begins to understand as the continuing legacy of both colonialism and the European slave trade begin to become apparent to her. It's a legacy that has scarred Cape Verde, and induced in Mariana a kind of coma or sickness akin to Leao's.

Throughout the film Costa repeatedly cuts to shots of festering volcanoes, their bubbling cisterns threatening to violently explode. Such shots are suggestive of the plight of Cape Verde's population (and migrant workers), all of whom are on the verge of economic extinction. The volcano's's bubbling larva also alludes to the populace's growing, mounting disdain, its pyroclasic flow pointing to some future, potential uprising. See Gillo Pontecorvo's "Burn!".

8/10 – Worth one viewing.


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