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Paul Călinescu
— Porto Franco (1961)
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A classic tale of greed and passion, on the gates of the Orient.

The multi-ethnic port-town of Sulina, with all its quaint routines and petty gossips, is about to be shaken by the news of Nick Santo’s return from the US. His emigration to the land of plenty is taken to be the saving grace for the townspeople, from Nick’s brother Stamate whose tavern is close to bankruptcy (due to his wife’s wild expenses), to the local Western-European barons who control the trade in the port. Once Nick arrives everyone wants a piece of the proverbial pie, stirring up tensions that will break hearts and ruin lives.

Hiding behind the film’s mandated anti-capitalist message (aiming squarely at the US’ migration mirage as a ‘land of opportunity’), is a lovingly constructed love-letter to the thriving ethnic, cultural and financial hub that was Sulina at the turn of the 20th century. Turkish ceai-vendors, Greek barbers, French admirals and can-can dancers, are just some of the colourful characters that make up Porto Franco’s diverse cultural palette, weaving a classic tale of greed and passion, on the gates of the Orient.

Porto Franco is part of Negotiating History @ Cinéma Galeries, paired with This Is It

Subtitles: FR - EN


Directed by: Paul Călinescu

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Th Jan 30, 2020 19:00
€8,5 | €6,5
Galerie de la Reine 26 - 1000 Brussels