Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa offers a long and richly detailed look at his nation's poor and needy in this affecting blend of drama and documentary.
Fontainhas was a community in Lisbon primarily populated by exiles from Cape Verde; Costa shot two of his earlier films there, Bones and In Vanda's Room, but Portuguese authorities tore down the village to make room for a new construction project, and its people were relocated to Casal Boba, a housing project on the edge of Lisbon.
Ventura was a native of Fontainhas who appeared in Bones; he and his wife, Clotilde (Isabel Cardoso), moved to Casal Boba, but Clotilde became disenchanted with her new surroundings and left him to move back to Cape Verde.
Now Ventura, left to his own devices, struggles to make a decent and dignified home for himself and the friends he calls his children in the slums of Casal Boba, including Vanda (Vanda Duarte), a recovering drug addict who was the focus of In Vanda's Room, and Lento (Alberto Barros), a close friend who is the only one Ventura trusts to hear the lovesick poetry he's written for his absent wife.
Colossal Youth received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.