LA Film Fest 2012
By Don Simpson | June 19, 2012
Director: Pocas Pascoal
Writers: Pocas Pascoal, Marc Pernet
Starring: Cheila Lima, Ciomara Morais, Wiliam Brandao, Vera Cruz
All is far from well in All Is Well. Two beautiful Angolan sisters — Maria (Cheila Lima) and Alda (Ciomara Morais) — find themselves in Lisbon, awaiting their mother’s arrival. Lacking documentation to live and work legally in Portugal, they must rely upon other African ex-patriots for survival. Unfortunately, everyone has ulterior motives for assisting the young women. At first, a seamstress seems to be their one saving grace, tipping them off to a local squat house, proving them with occasional meals and giving them much needed employment; but even the seamstress [quite inexplicably] turns on them.
I understand that there are some bad people in this world, but writer-director Pocas Pascoal’s perspective is exponentially more dire and hopeless than my own. (Admittedly, I never had to leave my homeland for fear of death.) Everything that could go wrong for these two young women does, and then some… All Is Well is a comedy of errors, but without the comedy.
All Is Well does, however, make a very convincing case for immigration reform, especially for those seeking political asylum. I just fear that it’s all-too-calculated and heavy-handed plot might seem too exaggerated to be true. That said — all of the performances are quite convincing despite the overt fictionalization of their situations.