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 In her films The Lady of Chandor and Through Shadows, Mourão penetrates the withdrawn landscapes of loneliness of two elderly ladies whose personalities have remained locked in the times long past and in their dreamy worlds.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!

Selected films


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