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ESCAPE FROM LUANDA
UK: Seventh Art Distribution
Cast: Sophie Okonedo (Narrator)
Director: Phil Grabsky
Language: Portuguese (English subtitles)
UK: 72 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains reality footage of war and injury
UK Release Date: 23 January 2008 (Limited Release)
In Luanda, one of the world's poorest and most dangerous places, three students from Angola's only music school work towards their end-of-year concert. The Music School is Angola's first and only school of its kind. It houses some 80 students, most of them desperately poor. Many face disapproval and outright rejection from their families who can't see a future in music. This film asks if, despite the ravages of 27 years of civil war, musical passion can overcome terrible hardships.
The three characters are:
Joana, 23. Her ambition is to be Angola's first female rock drummer. Her husband left her because of the school - and took her two children with him. She struggles to stay at school while wanting to reclaim her children.
Domingas, 42. Mother of five, her husband also left her when she started the school. She had been a money-changer on the dangerous streets of Luanda - and was so depressed she considered suicide. The school "saved her life". The oldest student at the school, she is determined to see it through.
Alfredo, 21. He is considered the bright hope of the school - perhaps the most likely to succeed. He has had to face down a disapproving father who thought a career in music a ridiculous idea in post-war Angola. Now he faces new obstacles in achieving his aim of becoming Angola's first-ever classical pianist.