Poor Sombra was just sprung from jail and already he’s knee-deep in trouble. He loaned some money and can’t get it back. A gang leader is hot on his heels. And he’s mixed up in a dangerous scheme that may get him killed. To elude his enemies, Sombra ventures out only at night and sometimes hides out at his aunt’s place. She’s certain he’s jinxed and so drags him to see Mr. Julio whose chants can break the curse her nephew is under. Screened this year in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, this debut feature by a young Portuguese filmmaker is a fearless journey into the Creole slums of Lisbon. Filled with shady characters, Après la nuit tracks the nighttime adventures of its mysterious protagonist. Despite a storyline rooted in real life, Da Cunha conjures up a dreamlike urban setting where
danger lurks around every corner. Shot mainly at night, this dark, uncompromising work still contains glimmers of hope as it shines a light on crime and poverty in a favela.