On September 27, 1810, the French troops commanded by Marshal Massena, were defeated in the Serra do Buçaco by the Anglo-Portuguese army of general Wellington.
Despite the victory, Portuguese and British are forced to retreat from the enemy, numerically superior, in order to attract them to Torres Vedras, where Wellington had built fortified lines hardly surmountable.
Simultaneously, the Anglo-Portuguese command organizes the evacuation of the entire territory between the battlefield and the lines of Torres Vedras, a gigantic burned land operation, which prevents the French from collecting supplies.
This is the setting for the adventures of a multitude of characters from all social backgrounds – soldiers and civilians, men, women and children, young and old – to the daily routine torn by war and dragged through hills and valleys, between ruined villages, charred forests and devastated crops. Continue reading
A room in Lisbon. A man dreams and establishes a theory to make it come true. This film is based on The Book of Disquiet , the posthumous work of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. It portrays the solitude of man through picturesque images and dramatic effects. Continue reading
A temperamental old woman, her Cape Verdean maid and a neighbour devoted to social causes live on the same floor of a Lisbon apartment building. When the old lady dies, the other two learn of an episode from her past: a tale of love and crime set in an Africa straight from the world of adventure films. Continue reading
An Atalanta Filmes release (in Portugal) of a Paolo Branco presentation of a Clap Filmes production. (International sales: Madragoa Filmes, Lisbon.) Produced by Paolo Branco. Directed, written by Hugo Vieira da Silva.
With: Sylta Fee Wegmann, Alice Dwyer, Julika Jenkins, Andre Hennicke, Pedro Hestnes, Luis Guerra, Luis Soveral.
(German, Portuguese dialogue)
Portuguese filmmaker Hugo Vieira da Silva makes a bold transition from doc shorts to “Body Rice,” a debut feature that skirts the edges of narrative and palpably conveys the drift and anomie of young Germans sent to an “alternative” community in southern Portugal. Local January opening spawned a public debate over the pic, and wide fest embrace (including prizes in Locarno and Mexico City) will lead to further notoriety and possible arthouse distrib buys. Continue reading
The human condition is examined in this Portuguese French film with opens with a warning that informs the audience that the following is not a documentary but a moral tale about the anachronisms of modern society. The story, set in an aging neighborhood filled with interesting characters, focuses upon an old blind man and his daughter. Every day, the blind one sits in a doorway sells thread and begs. The daughter spends her days ironing and complaining. Their neighborhood is not a wealthy one, and many passerby are envious of the old beggars’ box of accumulated coins. It has been stolen before so the man and the daughter’s boyfriend keep an eye upon it. Tragedy ensues when the box does indeed disappear. Continue reading
How presumptuous of the prince to have disturbed Snow White in her beauty sleep, to have kissed her and removed her from her glass casket in order to restore her to life, i.e. in order to possess her in the flesh. But Snow White must learn that love and hate are never far apart. She understands. She was just being silly and now all’s well that ends well. She has opted for happiness. But at what price? Continue reading
Social class, prideful martyrdom, and a dollop of beautifully expansive landscape weave a tale of operatic proportions, both by plot and physically exhaustive standards, in veteran Manoel de Oliveira’s latest exploration of motivation. Marrying for money instead of childhood love, Camila (Leonor Baldaque) naïvely assumes the supposed epic and selfless attributes of Joan of Arc to deal with her husband’s infidelity and the consistent treatment of being irrelevant to the very people that encouraged the doomed match. Continue reading