Thu Apr 11, 2024 – 5:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
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The Drunk

Directed by André Marques
Narrative Feature
Portugal | 120 min | 2023

Contemplating the failure of his life, Rogério drinks until losing control of his actions and involves himself in a bar brawl. His alcoholic drift takes him to the city port, where he falls asleep while watching passing ships. When a young woman appears in the night, seemingly running from something, Rogério offers to help and enters a nightmare he never imagined it could become his.

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“The Drunk” is my first feature film (after roughly a dozen of shorts made). I wrote the first draft of the script in 2012, ten years ago, and the script was developed with the assistance of Venice’s Biennale College Cinema in 2014, and the Plot Script Lab (Portugal) in 2015. In 2019, we secured the finance needed to start production when the project won ICA’s (Portuguese Cinema Institute) First Feature fund. We ultimately had a production budget of 300K.
The pandemic pushed the shooting forward to 2021 and we finally finished the film in 2023. It has been quite a ride…

“The Drunk” is a film that I wanted to unfold as an exploratory, sensorial and intimate movement that follows Rogério (the main character) in his descent to the emotional pit of disconnection between himself and his surroundings; an unique journey into the depth of the human soul, ultimately reflecting upon the contemporary and anaesthetised society that we live in and its presumptions on addiction, self-value and heroism. The Drunk” reflects on the themes of oppression, exclusion, the night, the hidden poverty, unemployment, the underworld, addiction, violence, lack of alternatives and instilled sadness. The crisis and all its social consequences are visible and felt by the population, and addictions (either alcohol or drugs of any kind) do become an easy path to follow.

On the other hand, human trafficking is still a growing business and an urgent subject that should be addressed by everyone. Some facts: according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), forced labor alone (one component of human trafficking) generates an estimated $150 billion in profits per annum as of 2014; in 2012, the ILO estimated that 21 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. The last study by ILO, in 2017, revealed that 25 million people were victims of forced labour, an increase of 3 million people in just 3 years. Human trafficking is thought to be one of the fastest-growing activities of trans-national criminal organisations.

“The Drunk” features first time actors Vítor Roriz and Ina Esanu in the main roles, supported by a cast of experienced actors and non-actors. The crew was quite a young one, the average age was about 25 years old. The music soundtrack, I believe, it’s quite an eclectic one, with a mixture of new avant-garde American composers such as The Winged Victory for the Sullen and Elm (Jon Porras), British ambient folk musician Gareth Dickson and some vintage Portuguese artists.

The Drunk - Poster

The Drunk - André MarquesAndré Marques

André Marques (1984, Setúbal, Portugal) studied cinema at Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema and he is an awarded Portuguese writer/director. His work has been developed through various genres – fiction, experimental, documentary – with films and projects selected in several internationally renowned festivals such as Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Palm Springs, Leeds, Vila do Conde, Gijón, Doclisboa, among others. Marques has been the subject of six retrospectives: by the Bucharest Cinematheque (Romania) in 2015, by the TV channels TVCINE (Portugal) and FicBueu Film Festival (Spain) in 2016, by the Burgas Film Festival (Bulgaria), Ymotion Festival (Portugal) and Fundação Gulbenkian (Portugal) in 2017. He was one of the selected filmmakers for the Berlinale Talents 2016.
“The Drunk”, his first feature film, premiered in 2023 and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the 29th Caminhos Film Festival.

Film Information

Director: André Marques
Country: Portugal
Year: 2023
Language: Portuguese, Russian
Runtime: 120 min
Rated:  R


Writer: André Marques
Producer: Alexandre Oliveira
Editor: Pedro Augusto Almeida, André Marques
Cinematography: Manuel Pinho Braga

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Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival