The Nothing Factory / A Fábrica de Nada

2017, Portugal, 176’ DCP
Director: Pedro Pinho · Scenario: Pedro Pinho, Luisa Homem, Leonor Noivo, Tiago Hespanha (according to Jorgea Silve Meloa's idea) · Photography: Vasco Viana · Montage: Cláudia Oliveira, Edgar Feldman, Luísa Homem · Music: José Smith Vargas, Pedro Rodrigues · Production: Terratreme Filmes · Roles: José Smith Vargas, Carla Galvão, Njamy Sebastião, Joaquim Bichana Martins, Daniele Incalcaterra, Rui Ruivo, Hermínio Amaro, António Santos

After a group of workers find out that their elevator factory will go bankrupt, and the machines start disappearing from the warehouse, they try to organize themselves to keep the manufacturing going. While Italian director Daniele (Incalcaterra), who in the movie turns into something like the contemporary version of Jean-Pierre Gorin, sitting at a table and eating delicious food, discusses with his friends whether capitalism will collapse and whether self-management is the right solution, Ze visits his father who still keeps a book about Lenin on the shelf of his fishing hut, and who will take him to a hidden place where he buried a machine gun, believing that the battle is still a possibility (“If we do not destroy the gorillas, they will destroy us”). We find ourselves in the Portuguese field that has already been laid out by Miguel Gomes in his trilogy 1001 Night. The truth is that the author’s three-hour piece is at the same time an appeal to us to think about the role of human work in times of crisis, a hymn of collective impotence and a sad musical, although their La La Land will only happen at the very end. “Oh world, you have done us too many bad things, but we love you!” exclaims Ze, climbing the pipe of the abandoned factory.

Translation: Martina Klarić

Pedro Pinho studied at the Lisbon Theater and Film School and at Louis Lumière School in Paris, after which he finished his postgraduate course of directing and screenplay at the London Film School under the umbrella of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. In 2009, together with a group of cineastes, he founded an independent company Terratreme. His feature film debut At the End of the World was successfully screened at numerous festivals. His latest piece The Nothing Factory had the world premiere last year within the Cannes section Quinzaine des réalisateurs, and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) award.