6.7/10
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5 user 3 critic

Word and Utopia (2000)

Palavra e Utopia (original title)
The story of Father Antonio Vieira, a 17th-century Portuguese priest who lived in Brazil and worked for better treatment of the Indians and to abolish slavery.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lima Duarte ...
Padre António Vieira (Old)
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Padre António Vieira (Middle Years)
Ricardo Trêpa ...
Padre António Vieira (Young)
Miguel Guilherme ...
Padre Jose Soares
Leonor Silveira ...
Queen Christina
Renato De Carmine ...
Padre Jeronimo Cattaneo
Diogo Dória ...
Chief Inquisitor
Paulo Matos ...
Notary
António Reis ...
Accuser
Canto e Castro ...
Governor
José Pinto ...
Provincial
José Manuel Mendes ...
Inquisitor
Rogério Vieira ...
King João IV
João Bénard da Costa ...
Pope Clemente X (as Duarte de Almeida)
Ronaldo Bonacchi ...
Father Bonnuci
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Storyline

The story of Father Antonio Vieira, a 17th-century Portuguese priest who lived in Brazil and worked for better treatment of the Indians and to abolish slavery.

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slavery | brazil | See All (2) »

Genres:

Biography | History

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Release Date:

17 November 2000 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Palabra y utopía  »

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User Reviews

 
WORD AND UTOPIA (Manoel De Oliveira, 2000) **1/2
3 December 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

The latest issue of Britain's oldest film magazine, "Sight and Sound" – to which I'm subscribed – features a 5-page article commemorating the upcoming centenarian birthday of Portugal's finest film-maker, Manoel De Oliveira. In it, writer Jonathan Romney describes WORD AND UTOPIA as "grueling…austere…one of the most willfully uncommercial films ever".

In fact, this 'modest epic' (my words) feels remarkably like one of Roberto Rossellini's latter-day made-for-TV biopics of important medieval figures, dealing as it does with a controversial 16th century Jesuit priest from Portugal, Fr. Antonio Vieyra. He stood up for the exploited natives of the New World, which didn't go hand in hand with the Church practices of the time but nonetheless earned him a devout following. He was also a respected theologian and orator (as amply displayed by the philosophical script); at one point, he's brought before the Queen (Oliveira regular Leonor Silveira) in a speechifying 'duel' with another well-known speaker of the era!

The film follows his life and career – from inexperienced novice to missionary, to luminary and martyr, up till his final days of progressively failing health and eyesight (during which he still strives to assemble for posterity both his past speeches as well as the history of his order). While the subject matter clearly isn't the most enticing and Oliveira's customarily unassuming style doesn't allow for much dramatic development, this still emerges a fairly interesting character study (with a suitably ardent lead performance) – though it's a decidedly long haul at 130 minutes.


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