Bullets and Guns
Francisco Cafua is obviously a satirist. He previously made slapstick-like music videos. This film is a parody of a specific genre: that of the Angolan slum-crime movie. It's a genre that not everyone will know, but maybe the Brazilian cult film Cidade de Deus (City of God, Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002) will awaken memories. That film had a great impact in Angola and saw many imitations, probably because of the comparable circumstances - although the slums of Luanda are even sadder than those of São Paulo - and the Portuguese language they share. Cafua cheerfully ridicules the predictability of the genre (drugs, prostitution and neighbourhood quarrels fought out with guns). Even the most minor conflicts lead to guns being drawn and fired. An example: a father and two small sons are sitting at the dining table. The father leads them in endless prayer. When he looks up, he discovers that the boys have already finished their plates. With the gun in his hand, he forces them to puke up their food again. If that doesn't go as he wants, he shoots - and in this way shots are fired laconically about anything and nothing in the film.
No, there's no subtle humour, but the tone and timing of Balas e pistolas make the film humorous and effective. And through the situation, he also manages to provide a realistic picture of the grimmest districts of Luanda.