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A Talking Picture (2003)

Um Filme Falado (original title)
Lisbon, Marseilles, Naples, Athens, Istanbul, Cairo, Aden, and Bombay. Along with a university teacher and her little daughter, we embark on a long journey, experiencing different cultures and civilizations.



(scenario and dialogue)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Leonor Silveira ...
Rosa Maria
Filipa de Almeida ...
Maria Joana
Comandante John Walesa
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Himself - Portuguese Actor
Michel Lubrano di Sbaraglione ...
Cliente do Pescador
Nikos Hatzopoulos ...
Padre Ortodoxo
Antònio Ferraiolo ...
Cicerone Pompeia
Alparslan Salt ...
Cicerone Museu de Santa Sophia
Ricardo Trêpa ...
David Cardoso ...
Júlia Buisel ...
Amiga de Delfina


A meditation on civilization. July, 2001: friends wave as a cruise ship departs Lisbon for Mediterranean ports and the Indian Ocean. On board and on day trips in Marseilles, Pompeii, Athens, Istanbul, and Cairo, a professor tells her young daughter about myth, history, religion, and wars. Men approach her; she's cool, on her way to her husband in Bombay. After Cairo, for two evenings divided by a stop in Aden, the captain charms three successful, famous (and childless) women, who talk with wit and intellect, each understanding the others' native tongue, a European union. The captain asks mother and child to join them. He gives the girl a gift. Helena sings. Life can be sweet. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

15 October 2003 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

A Talking Picture  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,325 (USA) (10 December 2004)


$12,978 (USA) (21 January 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

the movie is like the sea itself
20 August 2005 | by (texas) – See all my reviews

I highly recommend this movie for anyone with an open mind and patience. My own enjoyment of it was further enhanced by my love of languages, zeal for seeking subtext, and boredom with conventional film clichés. If you're like me in this respect, I think you'll enjoy this film. If you're looking for a thrill ride or expect one of the standard narrative forms, you will not.

The film behaves like the sea it frequently depicts. Lilting, undulating, splashing, and crashing randomly on its poetically simple story line: a Portuguese woman and her daughter set out on a cruise to meet their husband/father in Bombay. Along the way, they stop in various cities and have conversations about the history of the places they're visiting.

At first viewing, the films seems like a mixture of luxuriously long shots of ships and waves, stilted conversations between wooden actors, random scenes with strange editing, and almost no musical score. But the more I think about the film, the more the subtle meanings haunt me. The film was not an "upper", but I can't help smiling when I think about it.

I think the point was this: Through its academic recitation of history, a mother's explanations to her child, and an unsettling dose of present day reality, this movie contextualizes life in a way no other film I know of does. Good and Evil brought full circle? The grand flaw of humanity laid bare? An excercise in audience-manipulation? Whichever: Very rewarding.

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