Film Archive

Jahr

(Be)Longing

Documentary Film
France,
Portugal,
Switzerland
2014
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Luís Urbano
João Pedro Plácido
João Pedro Plácido
Pedro Marques
João Pedro Plácido, Laurence Ferreira Barbosa
Hugo Leitão
Uz, a hamlet in the north of Portugal, is home to about 50 people. Four generations, including the filmmaker João Pedro Plácido’s grandparents, so there’s reason to assume that he was emotionally involved with this project long before the first take was even a remote possibility. In Uz time passes as if clocks didn’t exist. Few things happen, lots of things are going on. The elements provide the rhythm. The story of village life over the course of a year develops organically between cattle drives, an overturned dung cart, harvest and the feast on the day the animals are slaughtered, between vespers and fireworks, confession and longing. The characters, too, develop quite naturally. There’s even a boy-meets-girl story which gradually emerges from the flow of events between Daniel, the youngest lad in this village community, and a young woman from nearby. It’s a touching moment when Daniel thinks about what kind of relationship a guy like him can probably expect from the future – that is “ordering” a Thai or Brazilian bride on the Internet. Even more touching is the fact that he (and the Brazilian or Thai) are spared this fate, at least for the time being. The film portrays people and events with sober tenderness, beautifully balanced between precise observation and sparing poetry.

Ralph Eue