Ver Angola


Dream of life in Portugal inspires Angolan film about emigrant who marries to have a visa

The ambition to live in Portugal and the tricks to obtain legal documents are the starting point of the Angolan film “The Emigrant”, which portrays how the dream of staying in Europe can turn into a nightmare.

: Ampe Rogério
Ampe Rogério  

In the film, an Angolan man who resides illegally in Portugal with his girlfriend devises a scheme to marry a successful Portuguese woman and obtain a residence permit, but the outcome ends up not being as expected.

Director Levis Albano, himself an emigrant, spoke to Lusa about the film's premiere, this Friday in Luanda, and the theme he chose to talk about the difficulties of emigration.

“When people leave their nest and go live in other people’s homes, they need to understand that things will never be the same, it doesn’t matter if you are in Brazil, England or the USA, we have difficulties emigrating”, he stressed, explaining that “I needed to tell them that living abroad is not what people think”.

The film was inspired by a real case, from which Levis Albano developed a “more general story”, to make people understand what emigration is.

At a time when the Angolan community in Portugal is growing significantly, with the number of Angolan citizens in this country increasing by more than 50 percent in the last ten years, Levis Albano sees the choice of Portugal as an emigration destination naturally, given the “ loving relationship” that makes Angolans “feel at home”, this being the first country that comes to mind when they think about emigrating.

“The Angolan community is growing in Portugal and I think that is beautiful and I also see that the Portuguese community is growing in Angola once again”, he added, highlighting that emigration is necessary and that there are several jobs where practically only emigrants can be found. .

“This helps the country's economy, although many don't realize it. I believe we need each other, it is important for the Angolan to understand that if the Portuguese is in Angola it is out of necessity and if the Angolan is in Portugal it is out of another need”, commented the director.

“The planet is big and we should all live where we feel comfortable”, he highlighted, adding: “we are not here to occupy anyone’s space, we are here to contribute”.

Emigrants have also changed Portugal's perception of Angolans, which is today “very different”, he admitted.

“I can speak essentially for culture, music helps us with that, art helps us, football helps us, we already have more Angolan players in Portugal and more Portuguese listening to Angolan music, eating Angolan food”, he said, pointing also the inclusion of words of Angolan origin in the Portuguese vocabulary.

Regarding the story narrated in “The Emigrant”, in which the character Lukamba intends to guarantee his legalization through marriage with a Portuguese woman, Levis Albano says that this is a common stratagem in both countries, with there also being citizens of other countries in Angola. Africans who try to overcome the difficulties of legalization by getting married or having a child.

“This is normal”, he noted, adding that access to visas continues to be very difficult, even for those who do not want to emigrate and despite the introduction of the CPLP modality, a visa facilitation regime for countries in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries. . “The doors are closed”, he concludes.

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