About an aging Swiss professor of classical languages who, after a chance encounter with a Portuguese woman, quits his job and travels to Lisbon in the hope of discovering the fate of a certain author, a doctor and poet who fought against Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar. Written by
There are some language issues in the movie that one could take as goofs. But in fact the movie takes English as a convention. The option to maintain Portuguese where logical would had made it a Portuguese-spoken film trough the entire flashback and even some present scenes. So, all the characters speak English, even if they should speak Portuguese, or German. The reference to their actual language is made trough their accents. That's why most of the actors playing Portuguese - even Brits - speak English with an effort to have the typical Portuguese accent. See more »
The chess set has the knights and bishops reversed. See more »
The outcome of his existence was in a booklet found chance
An unforeseeable and dramatic encounter puts in the hands of Raimond Gregorius, a Latin professor in a Berne school, a booklet written by a Portuguese writer. Starting to read the booklet, Gregorius realise that these writings are a door to a universe in which he will find a key to his own existence. The booklet was found in the pocket of the raincoat of a young Portuguese lady that Gregorius rescued from suicide on the Kirchenfeld bridge, a few hours before, and who walked away without leaving any information about herself. Trying to find the girl, Gregorius finds a ticket for a night train to Lisbon, for this same night, in the booklet. Gregorius goes to the train station in an attempt to meet the girl there, and don't find her. As the train starts to move on, he decides in an impulse to take it, to go to Lisbon, to meet the author of the booklet. Gregorius search makes him discover the life of the author, the relationships of the author with his entourage and with the political context in which Portugal was immersed at that time (the dark and awful years of the dictatorship of Salazar). As this discovery goes on, Gregorius goes discovering himself and sewing an outcome to a story which had remained unfinished. This conclusion is also true for Gregorius who discovers also an outcome for his existence. Most of the actors are not Portuguese, yet each one is quite convincing in his respective role. Gregorius discovery of himself is absolutely exciting. The references to the years of the dictatorship in Portugal is welcome in a world where most of the history is forgotten.
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