Today: February 25, 2024

Portuguese UK Film Festival

An expanded Second edition of the Portuguese UK Film Festival is this year dedicated to the fertile relationship between Portuguese literature and the moving image –

An expanded Second edition of the Portuguese UK Film Festival is this year dedicated to the fertile relationship between Portuguese literature and the moving image – how Portuguese writers such as Saramago, Camilo de Castelo Branco and Eça de Queiroz have inspired filmmakers in and outside Portugal. Fine adaptations bring classic characters closer to life through outstanding performances in a mix of genres that appeal to every audience.

Highlights of the 2011 line-up range from a preview of award winning Raúl Ruizʼ Mysteries of Lisbon, to the enigmatic Blindness, by acclaimed director Fernando Meirelles, to a session of outstanding shorts that includes Fratelli, which is Gabriel Abrantesʼ adaptation of William Shakespeare’s prologue to the play Taming of the Shrew. This yearʼs festival tries to span the breath of Portuguese literary work in its adaptation to the big screen.


Mysteries of Lisbon (cert TBC) (Mistérios de Lisboa) Preview (to be released in the UK in December) Thursday 10th November @ 18:30 Portugal/France 2010 Dir. Raúl Ruiz 266 min

This epic retelling of the novel by Camilo Castelo Branco has been widely hailed as the highpoint of Raúl Ruiz’s career. Mysteries of Lisbon thrusts us into a veritable whirlwind of escapades, coincidences and revelations, violent passions and love affairs, all wrapped up in a rhapsodic voyage that takes us from Portugal to France, to Italy, and as far as Brazil. In this Lisbon of intrigue and hidden identities, we encounter a series of characters all somewhat linked to the destiny of Pedro da Silva, orphan in a boarding school. Winner of the ʻLouis-De Lucʼ award for best French film.

Morning Undersea (PG*) (Manhã Submersa) Sunday 20th November @ 18:30 Portugal 1980 Dir. Lauro António 131 min

Adapted from the 1953 homonymous novel by Virgílio Ferreira, the film traces the portrait of a country in an era when the children of low-income families looking to improve their social status, were forced to enter the seminary. This is the story of a child set against the austerity of the house of D. Estefânia, the snow, the sensuality of his native village (Linhares, Serra da Estrela, north east of Portugal) and the silence of the seminar walls.

The Crime of Father Amaro (15) (O Crime do Padre Amaro) Tuesday 22nd November @ 18:30 Mexico/Spain/Argentina/France 2002 Dir. Carlos Carrera 118 min

Based on one of de Queirozʼs most controversial novels. A fresh, out of the seminary, Father Amaro (Gael Garcia Bernal, “Y Tu Mama Tambien”) is sent to the small town of Los Reyes to assist the aging Father Benito. Or is he? The young priest’s eyes are immediately flung open when he sees Sanjuanera (Angelica Aragon, “A Walk in the Clouds”). The bishop (Ernesto Gomez Cruz) sees in the pliant young priest the perfect tool for his political manoeuvring, but will he overlook “The Crime of Father Amaro”?

Disquiet (PG*) (Filme do Desassosego) Thursday 24th November @ 18:30 Portugal 2010 Dir. João Botelho (running time tbc)

Directed by one the greatest Portuguese film directors, João Botelho, Disquiet is based on the “Book of Disquiet” written by one of Fernando Pessoaʼs heteronyms: Bernardo Soares. The Book of Disquiet is widely considered as one the great literary works of the 20th century. The film was a success with audiences and film columnists in Portugal and was distributed sui-generis, outside the mainstream channels. It was screened in cultural centres and alternative venues across Portugal.

A Bee in The Rain (PG*) (Uma Abelha na Chuva) Sunday 27th November @ 18:30 Portugal 1972 Dir. Fernando Lopes 75 min

A Bee in the Rain is an adaptation of the homonymous novel by the neo-realist writer Carlos de Oliveira. It is one of the works of the so-called New Cinema, a Portuguese cinematic trend that assimilated aspects of the French Nouvelle Vague. A Bee in the Rain is the stark portrait of a poor and isolated country, suffocated by totalitarianism, and stranded in rural immobility.


Wednesday 30th November @ 18:30

This programme follows the theme of this yearʼs Portuguese Film Festival, presenting seven short films tied to literature. Like a novel, a short story or a poem, the films use different languages to build their own internal logic. Approaches such as surrealism and fantasy, irony and humour or realism and metaphor create dream-like worlds and prompt cultural recollections that stimulate our consciousness and open new possibilities of engagement with daily life.

Exotic Bird (Pássaro Exótico) US-Portugal 2011, Dir. Inês Portugal, EXP, 1’30”

Exotic Bird speaks about the idea that the film director is like a writer, and that film should be imagined as a novel or a poem. This film-poem is informed by Olivier Messiaen’s musical pieces on the singing of birds, which he understood as the voices of God.

LoveCinema (CinemaAmor) Portugal 1999, Dir. Jacinto Lucas Pires, FIC, 16’35”

Joaquim is a romantic working in a supermarket. His only friend, Gaspar, talks only through cinema quotations. In his free time, Joaquim wanders through town looking for the right woman. But when he finally finds her, she jumps from a building.

Candid (Cândido) Portugal 2007, Dir. Zepe (José Pedro Cavalheiro), ANI, 11’20”

Candid never loved her. Manipulation is his favourite game. Inspired by Voltaireʼs

Fratelli Portugal 2011, Dir. Gabriel Abrantes, EXP, 17ʼ

A film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s prologue to the play Taming of the Shrew, written with Portuguese dialogue, spoken in the Brazilian Bahian accent and filmed in the Lazio region of Italy.

Canticle of all Creatures (Cânticos Das Criaturas) Portugal 2006, Dir. Miguel Gomes, FIC, 24′

Assis 2005: a troubadour walks the streets of St. Francis of Assisiʼs hometown, singing and playing the Song of Brother Sun or the Song of the Creatures, written by St. Francis back in the winter of 1224. Woods of Umbria, 1212: during one preaching to the birds, St. Francis suddenly faints. Reanimated by St. Clare, the saint looks strange and absent and he canʼt recollect a thing. When the night falls, the animals in the forest sing and praise Francis. But this love sung by the animals leads to a feeling of possession, a desire of exclusivity usually known as jealousy. Inspired in The Canticle of the Sun, also known as the Laudes Creaturarum (Praise of the Creatures) by S. Francis of Assisi

Sailor Dogs (Cães Marinheiros) Portugal 2007, Joana Toste, ANI, 6’30”

When a couple of dogs have a sailor to look after the garden, they must keep him at any cost. This is why they have to be far from the sea. And life must go on. Based on the homonymous short story by Herberto Hélder.

Before Tomorrow (Antes De Amanhã) Portugal 2007, Gonçalo Galvão Teles, FIC, 16′

Mário is on the run. The political police are cornering him into fleeing the country. An encounter scheduled for tomorrow, the 25th, at 7 a.m., can it be the permit to salvation he so desperately needs? But what if that day turns out to be everything but normal? Based on a novel by Mário de Carvalho.

All shorts in Portuguese with English subtitles. Tickets: Standard – £10.00 online (£7.50 b4 5pm) Members – £8.00 online (£5.50 b4 5pm) Concessions £9.00 (£6.50 b4 5pm) Child £6.00 (£5.50 b4 5pm)

Box Office: 0871 902 5739 (calls cost 10p a minute from a BT landline) OnlineBooking:

A booking fee of £1.60 is payable to Picturehouse Bookings Ltd for each telephone and online booking. Members do not have to pay a booking fee.


The Wolves (PG*) (Os Lobos) + Live Music by Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa Sunday 13th November @ 16:00 Portugal 1923 Dir. Rino Lupo 83min

Introduced by Tiago Baptista from the Portuguese Cinemateque, Rino Lupoʼs biographer and responsible for the restoration of the film. Based on a play by Francisco Lage and João de Oliveira, Rino Lupo makes one of the most captivating films of the Portuguese silent era. The film is shot entirely on location in Serra da Estrela and Foz do Douro with nonprofessional actors.

Tickets: Standard – £9.50 online (£10.50 full price) Barbican Members – £7.50 online (£8.50 full price) Concessions £8.50. Box Office: 020 7638 8891 For more information, see here.


Blindness (18) (Ensaio sobre a Cegueira) Tuesday 15th November @ 18:30 Canada/Brazil/Japan 2008 Dir. Fernando Meirelles 121 min

Fernando Meirellesʼ film is an adaptation of the homonymous novel by Portuguese writer José Saramago. The blindness of the title is a ʻwhite blindnessʼ epidemic that spreads rapidly trough the population of a big city; the metaphorical plot of an apocalyptic world dominated by an animal-like people that seeks to question human natureʼs limits and contradictions when faced with extreme situations. The star- studded cast includes Julianne Moore, Gael García Bernal, Danny Glover and Mark Ruffalo.

The Murmuring Coast (12A) (A Costa dos Múrmurios) Tuesday 29th November @ 18:30 Portugal 2004 Dir. Margarida Cardoso 115 min

Evita’s arrival in colonial Mozambique, to wed soldier Luís, is as full of hope as Portugal’s clutch on its African colonies is friable. The war murmurs its violence on the coastal vignette in front, as Evita starts to retreat from a love she no longer recognises, to abandon herself in a world she cannot understand. Based on Lídia Jorge’s homonymous novel, this is a febrile portrait of the end of Portuguese colonialism in the 1960s, mirrored in a woman’s complex relationship with masculinity, coloured and cycled by the supreme photography of Lisa Hagstrand and the beautiful music of Bernardo Sassetti.

Tickets Standard – £9.00 online (£7.00 b4 5pm) Members – £7.00 online (£5.00 b4 5pm) Concessions £8.00 (£6.00 b4 5pm) Child and Teenagers (15-17) £6.00 (£6.00 b4 5pm). Box Office: 0871 902 5727 (calls cost 10p a minute from a BT landline) Online Booking, click here. A booking fee of £1.60 is payable to Picturehouse Bookings Ltd for each telephone and online booking. Members do not have to pay a booking fee.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

Previous Story

Editor's Choice

Next Story

World Cinema

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory is a curious beast. It’s a war film whose battles are mostly fought in a court room. It’s a Kubrick epic, that feels like a small, claustrophobic indie movie.


Monolith is a film that delights and surprises in equal measure. This low-fi, slow burn thriller is part science fiction, part social commentary, with just the right amount of bumps and jumps

Billions Complete Series Unboxing

As Paul Giamatti remains a frontrunner in the race for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor with his beautifully layered performance in The Holdovers, there’s no better time to catch up

Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy Unboxing

The heat is on. Eddie Murphy’s beloved street-smart Detroit cop Axel Foley is coming back to our screens in the highly-anticipated fourth entry in the Beverly Hills Cop series this summer, so

Footloose Steelbook Unboxing

One of the quintessential films of the 1980s, the endearingly cheesy Footloose has a ridiculous premise – a town that bans dancing – but it’s hard not to get swept up in
Go toTop