No future – the luso-African generation in Portuguese cinema

Carolin Overhoff Ferreira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Portugal is best known as a country of emigrants whose experiences have been reflected in a large number of feature films. Immigration only became relevant following the 1974 Revolution, which ended dictatorship and colonialism, and Portugal’s entrance in the European Community in 1986, which made it economically more attractive. Although immigrants and their integration is today an important issue in Portuguese society, so far only two feature films have dealt with the second-generation from African descent, the so called Luso-Africans. Pedro Costa, currently one of Portugal’s internationally most recognised auteurs, focuses in the critically acclaimed Ossos/Bones (1997) on the difficulties of the Cape Verdian community. The newcomer Leonel Vieira, on the other hand, looks in Zona J/J Zone (1998), a blockbuster, at the experiences of the young generation from Angola. This article compares the quite different approaches in terms of gender, race and aesthetics, but encounters similar perspectives on integration. It argues, moreover, that the art film makes the contradictory situation of its characters apparent, while the box-office hit simply condemns its protagonist to engage more deeply with the discrimination and exclusion experienced by secondgeneration of immigrants from Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in European Cinema
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • African immigration
  • Gender and race
  • Integration
  • Portuguese cinema
  • Second generation


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