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A plane takes Vitalina from Cape Verde to Portugal for the funeral of her husband, who abandoned her long ago. Through dark Cape-Verdian immigrant ghettos, images of postcolonial abandonment and her late husband’s nearly ruined house, she finds herself grieving his promises of a lavish lifestyle. Pedro Costa returns to his shantytown characters with a humane and hopeful eye. The stunning use of chiaroscuro lighting in the claustrophobic interiors, brilliantly composed static shots and a rich colour palette make the film feel like a series of living paintings.