The Two Joãos

A celebration of the cinema of collaborators and companions João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, two of the most vibrant cinematic artists to put a voice to the often sad beauty of desire.

Many of these are what they call their "China films", short works investigating various elements of Chinese culture and tradition. Guerra da Mata's own biography is one of the potential entry-points: born in Macao when it was a Portuguese colony, his presence here—whether fictional, metaphorical, or physical—connects the concerns of his and João Pedro Rodrigues' Portuguese collaborations with the Chinese streets and people that are their subject in these films.

Their collaboration has been an abiding one: extending through the years in various forms, in life and in cinema. In some films they collaborate on the direction, in others João Pedro Rodrigues directs and João Rui Guerra da Mata acts or does the art direction and production design. Whatever form it takes, theirs is one of the vital ongoing collaborations of modern cinema, a shifting artistic relationship founded on so many shared ideas and mysteries. Also included here are two key early works by João Pedro Rodrigues, Trip to Expo and This is My Home, each of which set the course of a voyage along which the other films are tender companions.

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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