Cape Verdean Creole Release date1995 CastIsaach De Bankolé (Leão), Inês de Medeiros (Mariana), Edith Scob (Edith), Pedro Hestnes (Edite's Son), Raul Andrade Similar moviesRelated Pedro Costa movies
Down to Earth (Portuguese: Casa de Lava) is a 1995 Portuguese drama film directed by Pedro Costa. The film is set in Cape Verde Islands, a former Portuguese colony.
This drama film is characterized by its reduced narrative, and photographies of the volcano in the Cape Verde islands. The title literally means "a house of lava". The film has been described by some reviewers as Costa's remake of Jacques Tourneur's 1943 film, I Walked with a Zombie, and Costa himself has suggested that his original intention for Down To Earth was for it to be a remake of Tourneur's film. Costa's work has often been compared by some to modern updates of classical Hollywood films, with Jonathan Rosenbaum pointing out that Colossal Youth may be viewed as Costa's remake of John Ford's 1960 film Sergeant Rutledge.
Casa de Lava was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at 1994 Cannes Film Festival.
Down to earth film gratitude
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. There she finds that "she brought a living man among the dead." Costa made the film in a densely minimalist style. Cryptic ellipses, cinematographic precision, narrative abstraction and lingering imagery of people and place, notably Mount Fogo, the highest active volcano of Cape Verde, are features in this melancholic meditation on love and loneliness.
Inês de Medeiros - Mariana (as Inês Medeiros)
Isaach De Bankolé - Leão
Edith Scob - Edite
Pedro Hestnes - Edite's Son
Influence of the making of the film in Costa's future career
In an interview with Jean-Pierre Gorin, Costa has stated that Casa de Lava was the gateway to making his films in Fontainhas. When he left Cape Verde after filming, many people gave him letters or presents to deliver to their friends and relatives back in Lisbon. Costa went to the shantytown of Fontainhas to deliver the letters and became enraptured with the environment, its smells and sensations (which he called spicy).