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Portugal, a never as old dictator rules a never as isolated European country.
To live in Portugal is merely to survive. So much so when talking about fishermen and their families in the rude north Portugal atlantic coast, having for dinner what the western society called snack. Hell, even probably some of the eastern...
A young man or woman living then in Portugal, when not enjoying family wealth (indispensable for any kind of extra-primary studies) either stayed and survived or went abroad to try and get something to feed children with. Living or to come. With a hard-lined censorship cutting hard against anything controversial, it becomes obvious that something as strongly painted - though necessarily never spoke - was an usual scenario.
When filming something on the Salazar's "New State" the pallete always carries a lot of dark colours. In this case, only two: grey and black.
Paulo Rocha was never given a choice, however: shooting ("that horribly custeous habit", in Salazar's words) itself was a previledge. Has usual, an impressive craft carved by an impressive craftsman.
A film to be seen, whenever, wherever. Seeing films this hearted saved me a whole lot of money. As if it cared.
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