Living in Padre Cruze, a slum on the outskirts of Lisbon, a family struggles through life, living in a culture of poverty and violence. Maria lives in a cramped home with her two teenage children and her sister Ivete. While her son Joca is a delinquent who is an integral part in the drug trade, Maria has hope for her daughter, Claudia, who is in nursing school. Claudia is Marcia's beacon of hope, who Marcia has sacrificed for heavily just so Claudia can have a chance at a better life. When Marcia learns that Claudia is wrapped up in an affair with her married professor, her life is shattered, fearing that her daughter may destroy her one chance at a better life. Joao Canijo's Blood of My Blood is an sprawling story of class struggle in Lisbon that has elements of a greek tragedy. Joao Marcia is an incredibly strong female character who simply wants her children to have a chance in an unfair world. Her daughter Claudia reminds her of herself, and this naive, innocent attitude is what Marcia will do anything to protect. With a film touching on class struggle and the barriers which exist, Blood of My Blood is certainly not a film for the faint of heart and while there are many films which attempt this commentary, what separates Blood of my Blood is its attention to detail, particularly with its characters. Joao Canijo spends a lot of time capturing the family dynamics which exist is Marcia's household, giving the viewer plenty of time to learn and understand the emotions of these characters. This attention to detail ultimately pays dividends towards the end of the film when the major drama transpires. The visual style of the film is impressive, with the camera almost like an observant bystander, floating from room to room, capturing the various family dynamics which exist in Marcia's household. I wouldn't describe the cinematography as flashy per say, but more surgical in its approach. Joao Canijo's Blood of My Blood is an emotionally affecting piece of filmmaking which ultimately succeeds in it's story of the barriers which exist in social classes of society.
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