In the film, an Angolan man who resides illegally in Portugal with his girlfriend devises a scheme to marry a successful Portuguese woman and obtain a residence permit, however the outcome ends up not turning out as expected.

Director Levis Albano, an emigrant himself, spoke to Lusa about the film’s premiere, in Luanda, and the theme he chose to reflect the difficulties of emigration.

“When people leave their nest and go live in other people’s homes, they need to understand that things will never be the same, it doesn’t matter if you are in Brazil, England, or the USA, emigrating has its struggles”, he stressed, explaining that “I needed to let people know that living abroad is not what they think”.

The film was inspired by a real case, from which Levis Albano developed a “more general story”, to help people understand what emigration is.

At a time when the Angolan community in Portugal is growing significantly, with the number of Angolan citizens in this country increasing by more than 50 percent in the last 10 years, for Levis Albano this country is the first that comes to mind when considering emigrating, given the “loving relationship” that makes the Angolan “feel at home”.

“The Angolan community is growing in Portugal and I think that is beautiful, I can also see that the Portuguese community is growing in Angola once again”, he said, highlighting that emigration is necessary and that there are several jobs where practically only emigrants can be found.

“The planet is big and we should all live where we feel comfortable” and “we are not here to occupy anyone’s space, we are here to contribute”, he stated.

Emigrants have also changed Portugal’s perception of Angolans, “I can essentially speak for culture, music and art helps us with that, football helps us, we already have more Angolan players in Portugal, more Portuguese people are listening to Angolan music and eating Angolan food”, the director also mentioned the inclusion of works with Angolan origin in the Portuguese vocabulary.

Regarding the story narrated in “The Emigrant”, in which the character Lukamba intends to guarantee his residence permit through a marriage with a Portuguese woman, Levis Albano explains that this is a common occurrence in both countries. “This is not normal”, he noted, adding that access to visas continues to be very complicated and difficult, even for those who do not want to emigrate, and despite the introduction of the CPLP modality, a visa facilitation regime for countries in the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa.

“The doors are closed”, he concluded.