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 Valeria Sarmiento – Linhas de Wellington AKA Wellington Lines [Theatrical Cut] (2012)
Jorge de Sena was forced to leave his country. First he moved to Brazil, and later to the USA. He never returned to Portugal. During his 20-year-long exile, he kept an epistolary correspondence with Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. These letters are a testimony of the profound friendship between the two poets, letters of longing and of desire to “fill years of distance with hours of conversation”. Through excerpts and verses, a dialog is established, revealing their divergent opinions but mostly their strong bond, and their efforts to preserve it until their last breaths. Continue reading Rita Azevedo Gomes – Correspondências AKA Correspondences (2016)
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 João César Monteiro – Branca de Neve AKA Snow White (2000)
Lisbon of the nineties. Three siblings, a girl and two boys, live together in a most close kind of relationship. The centre of the story is the girl, Maria, who hardly ever says what she thinks neither knows what she wants. “Teresa Villaverde re-states her sensitiveness in this portrait of a fragile girl in a film of high visual elegance of utmost sadness.”
Positif, November 1994 Continue reading Teresa Villaverde – Três Irmãos AKA Two Brothers, My Sister (1994)
It all begins when an average family (slightly chilly because they’re forced to take their vacation out of season) is struck by good fortune.
Jesus the couple’s young son, finds a hidden and forbidden treasure in the sands of a deserted beach: the wealth of the hearth.
The same day, and not so far away, two priests decide to close the doors to their church due to lack of a congregation, and auction off the images of their beloved saints.
Between the wealth of the heavens and the spirit of matter they embark on an adventure. A banker with auditory hallucinations when he talks about money.
The replies of a minister with visual hallucinations when influences are concerned.
An elegant, suave and mysterious woman, with a beatiful wig and splendid colors, excites everything wherever she goes. Continue reading João Botelho – Tráfico AKA Traffic (1998)
Two actors performing in Strindberg’s “Inferno” as God and Lucifer, find themselves competing in real life as well. One of them, Henrique, has spiritual obsession with John Wayne and his way of walking. He and de Dieu, his fellow actor who plays Lucifer and also directs the Strindberg play, engage in a philosophical and spiritual tug-of-war, especially when they meet an author named God, who has plans for another drama to feature both actors. Continue reading João César Monteiro – Le Bassin de J.W. AKA The Hips of John Wayne (1997)
Laura Rossellini, a widow from Rome, vacations on the Algarve coast one hot summer. One day while sunbathing, she finds a wounded man named Robert drifting in the surf on a rubber raft. She takes him home, and, after he is revived, learns his story. As they talk, their mutual attraction grows, until a group of armed men suddenly arrives looking for Robert. Continue reading João César Monteiro – À Flor do Mar AKA Hovering Over the Water AKA By the Seaside (1986)