Film Archive

Metaphor or Sadness Inside Out

Documentary Film
Portugal,
UK
2013
32 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Lucie Troger
Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Catarina Vasconcelos
Mike Wyeld
A young man from Lisbon writes to his sister, a filmmaker living in London. He confesses that, nine years after their mother died, he feels an emptiness in his life. Her answer is a film intended to fill that gap. The brother describes his nostalgia for a time when he wasn’t even born yet, a past that seems lost. It is their mother’s past, the time of the Portuguese revolution, which reconciled a country that was internally fractured. Today, that feeling of freedom is hard to grasp for a post-revolutionary generation living through the euro crisis. Can you film yourself backwards in time?
The grainy Super 8 material bridges the gap between the present and the past. The camera visits the places of three generations of a family that have felt halved. The sea, which the grandfather once called a metaphor for the world, is one of them. The lyrical dialogue between brother and sister keeps returning to that feeling of halfness, while the visual level is a search for the missing half, not without a subtle irony that offsets the melancholy undertone. After all, a metaphor will be a metaphor. A self-reflexive, poetic picture puzzle in which the personal always transcends itself.
Lars Meyer

Suddenly My Thoughts Halt

Documentary Film
Portugal
2014
114 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Renata Amaro, Rosa Silva
Jorge Pelicano
Frankie Chavez, Irene Orta Cintado
Jorge Pelicano
Jorge Pelicano, Pedro Mouzinho
Pedro Miguel Carvalho, Sara Godinho, Rui Pereira
Granted, celebrating a 131st anniversary may be a little weird, but it suits the setting. We are in a psychiatric hospital in Porto. The film first introduces some of the protagonists – already with stunning cinematography and an editing rhythm that from the first sequence seems entirely focused on the very idiosyncratic truth of this place. How can the thin line between mental normality and madness be described?
Jorge Pelicano uses an ingenious dramatic trick by introducing an actor. Directed by their therapist, the patients are rehearsing a 131st anniversary play. They are joined by Miguel, who plays the part of a 19th century schizophrenic Portuguese poet. More precisely: he plays a hallucinating horse. In fact, he moves into the hospital for two weeks, shares a room and meals, rehearsals and therapy sessions. And he attacks. Observes. Creates situations. Improvises. Inside-outside communication. Madness-normality. Soon we see him galloping through the grounds as he rehearses the hallucinating horse. The longer we follow him and the delightful residents of the hospital, the more we realise: the transition is blurred. And that is testimony to the outstanding narrative quality of this extraordinary film.
Matthias Heeder
Doc Alliance Selection 2014
The Quest of the Schooner Creoula André Valentim Almeida

A group of scientists on Portugal’s biggest scientific expedition to date to the Ilhas Selvagens in the Atlantic Ocean. A journey of discovery, including one’s own past.

The Quest of the Schooner Creoula

Documentary Film
Portugal
2013
87 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Joana Miranda
André Valentim Almeida
André Valentim Almeida
André Valentim Almeida
André Valentim Almeida
André Valentim Almeida, Paulo Cunha Martins
In 2010, André Valentim Almeida set out on a journey of discovery. In an age when everything seems to have been explored and new land may only be found in space, perhaps a journey of discovery inevitably makes one look especially closely at and back at everything one encounters. On the schooner “Creoula” he meets a group of scientists who have embarked on Portugal’s greatest scientific expedition to the Ilhas Selvagens in the Atlantic Ocean. During the journey the filmmaker discovers connections to his uncle, a ship’s captain who used to fish in Newfoundland, Portugal’s maritime past and always himself. He looks at the past, the present and the future and discovers more than he expected from this expedition. And then, somehow, there is the World Championship and for a brief moment everyone is euphoric.