Be surprised by the hidden treasures of Portuguese cinema

13. August 2019

Cinematik in the section Magnified traditionally draws attention to some of the world’s cinematographies. This year it focuses on Portuguese cinema, which usually avoids mainstream interest. The movies will give you a touch of voyeur pleasure from the view of the kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms of today’s Portuguese. As in the most successful Portuguese film of 2011 Blood of My Blood, which won two prestigious IFF San Sebastián awards. In it, director and screenwriter João Canijo captured the relationship adventures of one Lisbon family from a more modest background.

An insight into the lives of the Portuguese of the past comes with the title The Maias – Story of a Portuguese Family, Portugal’s most successful movie of 2014. The historical costume drama about love, intrigues and conditions in contemporary society was based on the motives of a realistic novel by José Maria de Eça de Queiroza, who is a compulsory read in Portugal.

In the films John From (2015) and Djon África (2018), we will unveil the inner world of two representatives of the Portuguese generation Z.
In the first one, director João Nicolau invites us on a slightly surrealist excursion into the soul of the in love teenager – Rita, who falls for the fantasies about her older neighbor. The second movie by directing duo João Miller Guerra and Filip Reis, reminds us that the Portuguese world extends far beyond the borders of the Iberian Peninsula. Their hero, the young rastafarian Djon, is leaving for exotic Cape Verde to seak for his own roots.

Pedro Cabaleira’s Damned Summer (2017) tells the story of youth and freedom in the coulisse of contemporary Lisbon, where adrenaline, drugs and unhappy love are to be found on a daily basis.

One of the freshest examples of Portuguese cinema is Apparition (2018), a romantic-philosophical adaptation of the novel by Vergília Ferreira, in which the writer becomes the character of his own novel.

An uncommon homage to the classic silent films of the first decades of the 20th century is Miguel Gomes’s black and white movie Tabu (2012). Screened at the Berlinale, the movie was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize and also nominated for the Golden Bear. A stylized story of a man and a woman, floating across time and space. Dominated by a mysterious, omnipresent crocodile…