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With its beauties and plentiful historical cultural sights, Portugal is an attractive tourist destination. However, today’s Portugal also has a lively art scene. That goes not only for the fields of literature and music but also film. This fact is proved by the record-breaking numbers of this year’s Doclisboa whose screenings and related events were attended by 26 000 visitors. It is naturally also proved by the films which can give you a picture of contemporary cinema in Portuguese speaking countries; or rather its documentary branch.
Many lovers of Lisbon Story by Wim Wenders were captivated by the music element of the film gem. They and many others will love the films where music plays one of the main roles; or rather a main role in the life of the protagonists. This goes for Celeste, Phil Mendrix, ...because I am not the 21st Century‘s Giacometti and Vila do Conde Extended.
Celeste was directed by Diogo Varela Silva and is a loose continuation (or rather revision) of his film about singer Celeste Rodrigues. This lady has been active on the music scene for 70 years and is graceful not only on the stage but also in her private life. Another inspiring film is Phil Mendrix, a portrait of the globally acclaimed guitarist Philip Mendes who ranks among the greatest Portuguese guitar players of all time. The category of documentary portraits further includes the film ...because I am not the 21st Century‘s Giacometti. The main protagonist of the film is director and video artist Tiago Pereira. Vila do Conde Extended will move you by its music content revolving around an acoustic love letter. The Portuguese simply have music in their blood and that is also why others love the Portuguese.
To a country at the end (or beginning?) of Europe, confrontation with traditions is essential. It is therefore not surprising that this is reflected in the documentary study Setil capturing an uninhabited area of a railway town. In a certain way, the aspect of confrontation is also present in the co-production film Where is the jungle? shot in the forests of Brazil.
The Portuguese are devoted to the muses. Their passion for film is proved by another film by Paulo Abreu – Raimundo which captures a week-long students‘ effort to make a documentary about the controversial film director Raimundo Bicuda. The historical probe The Glory of Filmmaking in Portugal then makes a final summary.