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Filmmaking as a life obsession: A retrospective of Catarina Moũrao


Portuguese director Catarina Mourão ranks among the most remarkable personalities of the South European documentary scene. She addresses wide-ranging audiences by her films as well as by her production and organization activities. In 1998, she was the founding member of AporDOC Portuguese Documentary Association. She co-founded Laranja Azul production company supporting creative documentaries and she has been teaching documentary film for a number of years.

The retrospective collection presents 7 documentary films dealing with several themes related to her works on a long-term basis. The first important building block is that of the poor Portuguese village. This phenomenon is discussed in My village doesn’t live here anymore and On Edge. The two documentaries tell the stories of places the life rhythms of which are governed by specific elements. In the former, these are regular floods that paralyse the place for weeks; in the latter, they are junior football matches that represent major social events to the locals. The confrontation of rural life and the outside world of “high” culture is portrayed in the third rural film Out of Water dealing with the clash of the language of contemporary art and the conservative values of local inhabitants.

The second essential motive of Mourão’s works consists in a detailed portrayal of concrete human stories. It is present both in the short family etude Mother and Daughter and in the feature-length narrative triptych Restless. The third motive of Mourão’s works presented in the retrospective consists in a theme that is hard to grasp; namely that of time. In her films The Lady of Chandor and Through Shadows, Mourão penetrates the withdrawn landscapes of loneliness of two elderly ladies whose personalities have remained locked in the times long past and in their dreamy worlds.

Meet the unique person of Portuguese documentary Catarina Mourão! Watch her first international online retrospective from January 20 to February 2, 2014 exclusively at DAFilms.com!

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Films for the event


Mother And Daughter

Mãe e Filha (Orig.) / 2009 / Portugal / 16 min

Mother and daughter go to a mediation to try to solve a family conflict.



Through Shadows

Pelas Sombras (Orig.) / 2010 / Portugal / 83 min

“One day I realized it no longer made sense to make things hang on walls...my canvas is too big to be exposed in a museum room, and sometimes so small that nobody can see it" Lourdes Castro became known as the artist "who took care of shadows"...



On Edge

À Flor da Pele (Orig.) / 2006 / Portugal / 64 min

European Football Cup, Portugal. The country is relying on the team to raise its morale. The film is set in a poor neighbourhood following a group of idle pre-adolescents. .



My village doesn't live here anymore

A minha aldeia já não mora aqui (Orig.) / 2006 / Portugal / 60 min

"I was born beneath this water. I was 10 years old when it all happened. Some things I remember well others are blurred and confused..."




Desassossego (Orig.) / 2002 / Portugal / 77 min

Houses to sell…houses to live in…houses to fill and die in…
Mr. António Carlos works in a real estates agency, he is pressurized daily by his superiors to close contracts and bring profit to the company.



The Lady of Chandor

A Dama de Chandor (Orig.) / 1999 / Portugal / 93 min

Thirty-five years after it’s independence from the Portuguese colonial rule, Goa is definitely a state of many contrasts. Together with a strong migrating Hindu population, there is still a Portuguese speaking minority which seems somewhat frozen in nostalgia and kept in a strange time limbo.



Out of Water

Fora de Água (Orig.) / 1997 / Portugal / 44 min

The film tells us the story of the confrontation between a group of trendy urban artists who are invited to make public art in different villages of one of Portugal’s poorest and most isolated regions: Alentejo.



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