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3.6
312 Ratings

Gebo and the Shadow

O Gebo e a Sombra

Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Portugal, France, 2012
Drama

Synopsis

Despite his age and general weariness, Gebo keeps on working as an accountant to provide for his family. He lives with his wife, Doroteia, and his daughter-in-law, Sofia, but it is the absence of João, son and husband, that worries them…

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Gebo and the Shadow Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
The Shadow could be a lot of things: the looming evil of the outside world; the fading, twilight existence Gebo and his family have long settled into; Gebo’s estranged son, João (Ricardo Trêpa, Oliveira’s grandson), a criminal whose return gives the movie its shape. This is Oliveira’s ascetic, totally unique vision of an old man—technically young enough to be the director’s son—trying to hide from the worst of the world, forced to confront it toward the end of his life.
December 15, 2014
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While The Strange Case of Angelica (10) was a flight of fancy, using proto-cinematic effects to bring its protagonist’s young beloved back to life, Gebois an elemental thudding back to earth, body and soul entombed inside a dimly lit abode.
May 28, 2014
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By the time its sudden conclusion hits you with the sort of multivalent power that we’ve come to expect from Oliveira’s seemingly offhand endings, the film’s questions are evident. How to live out one’s days before the final bell tolls? Like Gebo or like João? Safely but unremarkably or dangerously but freely? Resting on one’s laurels or pushing out of comfort zones? …For this relentless but calmly considered artist, one imagines the answers are somewhere in the middle.
May 28, 2014
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