China walks down the steps towards Martim Moniz Square in Lisbon, Portugal. As she passes by, children cry out: “China, China!”. China will fly. Fly away by dawn. All she wants is to be happy. But China drinks her own poison. She drinks it to the last drop. Sometimes the air seems to be laden with evil and purgatory but a child’s playground.
João Rui Guerra da Mata started working in film in 1995 as an art director on a number of short and feature films, notably those of João Pedro Rodrigues. He directed China, China (2007), a short, before co-scripting João Pedro Rodrigues’s To Die Like a Man (2009). –Locarno Film Festival
João Pedro Rodrigues was born in Lisbon in 1966. After studying biology at Lisbon University he attended the Lisbon Film School, where he obtained his diploma. His public film career began at the 54th Venice Festival in 1997 with the short Parabéns!, which won the Special Jury Prize. In the same year he made Esta é a minha casa and Viagem à Expo, a two-part documentary. In 2000 he directed his first fiction feature, O Fantasma, which was screened in the 57th Venice Festival’s Official Competition. In 2005, Odete won several awards including a Cinémas de Recherche Special Mention at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. His feature project To Die Like a Man was selected in 2007 by Cinéfondation for L’Atelier in Cannes and was released in 2009. –Locarno Film Festival