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Two strangers forge a surprising connection as they climb a steep Lisbon street

One night in Lisbon, a young foreigner helps a local woman in her 70s up a steep staircase. To his puzzled bemusement, as they begin to ascend, she asks him to be her new husband, and then jokes that she’ll kill him, which would make him the next in a long line of spouses to have died by her hand. Climbing higher, the two struggle to understand each other, as she offers him tough-love lessons in Portuguese, discusses her education and tells him how she plans to celebrate her upcoming birthday with her favourite drink, Champagne. With his humorous portrait of a surprising bond born on a quiet evening, the Japanese director Atsushi Kuwayama offers a touching observation on the peculiar human moments that emerge when two strangers connect.

5 October 2020

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