Black And White

This 2003 Portuguese feature by Jose Carlos de Oliveira begins as a no-frills war film set in 1972 Mozambique, then evolves (or devolves) into a fairly good action adventure flick as a black prisoner and a white soldier trek across the bush, joined eventually by a white military nurse. From that point it becomes a fairly thin if irony-laden study of the endlessly bickering characters, which ultimately capsizes with fatuous American Graffiti-style texts explaining their respective fates. Oliveira is never sure-footed enough to stick with a single genre, and the music, which ranges from African to Portuguese pop and rock, only adds to the distraction. In Portuguese with subtitles. 110 min. (JR)

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