In Vanda's Room

Director: Pedro Costa
Year Released: 2000
Rating: 2.0

Monotonous look at the slums of Lisbon, their destruction by the government and the threadbare existence of those who live there. The master shots are perversely gorgeous - despite ironically fetishizing the poverty and self-abuse - although I'm not convinced keeping a camera trained on actual drug addicts doing smack for three hours (when they aren't vomiting, arguing or chain smoking cigarettes) really gets to the heart of the political problems that lead to becoming (or, for that matter, being) an outcast. More puzzling is how Costa provided the screenplay, meaning the underprivileged don't even have the chance to convey their own thoughts - why not let the victims speak their own minds?