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Fados (2007) More at IMDbPro »

Fados -- A drama steeped in Portugal's Fado music culture.


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Release Date:
6 March 2009 (USA) See more »
A drama steeped in Portugal's Fado music culture. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Direction upstages the endearing song and singer See more (16 total) »


Chico Buarque de Hollanda ... Himself
Camané ... Himself
Carlos do Carmo ... Himself

Lila Downs ... Herself
Toni Garrido ... Himself
Lura ... Herself
Alfredo Marceneiro ... Himself (archive footage)
Mariza ... Herself
Miguel Poveda ... Himself
Amália Rodrigues ... Herself (archive footage)
Argentina Santos ... Herself
Ana Sofia Varela ... Herself

Caetano Veloso ... Himself

Directed by
Carlos Saura 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ivan Dias 
Carlos Saura 

Produced by
Ivan Dias .... producer
Luís Galvão Teles .... producer
Virginia García Galán .... administrative line producer (as Virginia Garcia)
Antonio Saura .... producer
José Velasco .... producer
Cinematography by
José Luis López-Linares 
Eduardo Serra 
Film Editing by
Julia Juaniz 
Production Design by
Carlos Saura 
Makeup Department
Carolina Madera .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Helena Baptista .... production manager
Leslie Calvo .... production manager
Mariana Erijimovich .... post-production supervisor
Joana Vaz da Silva .... assistant unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Manuel Fernández Pinedo .... second assistant director
Carlos Saura Medrano .... first assistant director
Ângela Sequeira .... second assistant director
Sound Department
Daniel Bekerman .... sound
Ricardo Viñas .... dolby sound consultant
Camera and Electrical Department
Jorge Arribas .... electrician
Pedro Cardeira .... first assistant camera
João Tiago Costa .... camera operator
Sonia Eguren .... second assistant camera
Iana Ferreira .... first assistant camera
Ramiro Sabell hijo .... video assist
Miguel Sales Lopes .... camera operator
Jesús Villafáñez .... gaffer (as Jesús Villafáñez González)
Casting Department
Ángela Martín Suárez-Infiesta .... extras casting
Raúl Pérez Pacheco .... extras casting
Editorial Department
Margarida Leitão .... additional editor
Carolina Martínez Urbina .... assistant editor
Miguel P. Gilaberte .... digital intermediate colorist
Pablo Polo .... on-line editor
Other crew
Aarón Arce Pozueta .... administrative assistant
Nathy Fonseca .... production coordinator
Israel García Fernández .... systems administrator
Mariana Koenders .... production coordinator
Curro Muñoz .... main and end titles

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:90 min | Argentina:93 min | Canada:85 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This was the last film to be released in the United States by New Yorker Films.See more »


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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Direction upstages the endearing song and singer, 21 March 2008
Author: Jugu Abraham ( from Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Seventy-six year young Carlos Saura charmed film lovers with several melancholic dance, music and song styles: Flamenco in "Flamenco" (1995), "Blood Wedding" (1981) and "Sevillanas" (1992), tango in "Tango" (1998), and finally, opera and flamenco in "Carmen" (1983). Then comes his latest film "Fados," a heady mix of dance and melancholic Portuguese folk song rendered by mesmerizing singers such as Mariza and Carlos do Carmos…If you thought as I had, that I had seen all that the wizened genius from Spain could do, you will be pleasantly surprised. "Fados" is undoubtedly one of his finest films—forget the music, forget the song, forget the singers (if you possibly can!) and enjoy the art of fine direction.

I am forced to recall the US film "Woodstock" (1970). Millions would remember that wonderful film, but few would recall its director Michael Wadleigh. The gifted Wadleigh not only directed the fascinating documentary film, he was one of the cinematographers and one of the editors of the film. His assistant film director for the film was Martin Scorsese! If you enjoyed "Woodstock's" groundbreaking editing, it is important to note that Wadleigh's editing collaborator was Thelma Schoonmaker, who has edited each and every Scorsese movie since 1980. Now why am I writing about "Woodstock" instead of "Fados"? It is because like "Woodstock," "Fados" is very likely going to be discussed in years to come for its endearing music, song and dance, bypassing its vibrant cinematic ingredients.

The first few minutes into the film introduce you to breathtaking effect of the cinema of "Fados". You have shadows of live individuals walking as they do on a street (you do not see them under direct light). These shadows fall on a screen where another film image is projected. As the opening credits roll, you realize you are being seduced by the kinetic images. And even up to the final shot of the film, you realize that you are under the spell of creative use of shadows, images, mirrors, projection screens and shiny reflecting dance floors. The final shot is of the film camera lens, which is the appropriate mainstay of the film—not the music, song and dance, which merely provides the subject for the director. Even the English subtitles were aesthetically placed in the left corner of the frame, so that the beauty of each shot is maximized for the viewer.

Saura has a great ear for music. No wonder he made all these movies on music, song and dance. Go back in history, and you will recall his most famous film, "Cria cuervos (cry ravens)" (1975) featured a song called "Porque te vas (Because you are leaving)" sung by an American singer called Janette who was living at that time in Spain. The song had been released by the singer earlier but few took note of it. After Saura's film won honors at Cannes, Janette's song soared in popularity and became a worldwide hit. (Somewhat like Antonioni's boost to Pink Floyd in "Zabriskie Point", even though Pink Floyd was arguably quite famous by the time of film's release) That was unfortunately the career high for the singer. Today, some 30 years after I saw "Cria cuervos" during a Saura retrospective in New Delhi, the notes of the song ring in my ear. "Fados", like "Cria cuervos", is a delight for those who can appreciate good music.

In Saura's "Fados", achievements are many. The film is entirely made on a set, eliminating extraneous sounds such as street noise. The Portuguese icons of song come to Spain to film the scenes—a clever canvas of light and shadows, dance and song, mirrors and projection screens that recall the brilliance of another of my favorite documentary films—Hans Jurgen Syberberg's "Hitler--a film from Germany". Like all Saura's films there is some politics at play—his work is a cry for Iberian unity between two neighboring nations that never trusted each other historically. In an interview Saura stated that he was deliberately removing artists from their natural surroundings so that they could create "something new". To Saura watchers, he is continuing his favorite exploration merging theater and film, without being hemmed in by the boundaries of a written play.

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