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Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1997)

Viagem ao Princípio do Mundo (original title)
Manoel is aging film director who travels with the film crew through Portugal in search of the origins of Afonso, a famous French actor whose father emigrated from Portugal to France and in... See full summary »

Director:

Manoel de Oliveira

Writers:

Manoel de Oliveira (scenario and dialogue), Jacques Parsi (translation: French)
Reviews
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Manoel
Jean-Yves Gautier Jean-Yves Gautier ... Afonso
Leonor Silveira Leonor Silveira ... Judite
Diogo Dória Diogo Dória ... Duarte
Isabel de Castro ... Maria Afonso
Cécile Sanz de Alba Cécile Sanz de Alba ... Christina
José Pinto José Pinto ... José Afonso
Adelaide Teixeira Adelaide Teixeira ... Senhora
Isabel Ruth Isabel Ruth ... Olga
Manoel de Oliveira ... Driver
José Maria Vaz da Silva José Maria Vaz da Silva ... Assistente
Fernando Bento Fernando Bento ... Homem 1
Mário Moutinho ... Homem 2
Jorge Mota Jorge Mota ... Homem 3
Sara Alves Sara Alves ... Menina
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Storyline

Manoel is aging film director who travels with the film crew through Portugal in search of the origins of Afonso, a famous French actor whose father emigrated from Portugal to France and in process remembers his own youth. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Portugal | France

Language:

French | Portuguese

Release Date:

26 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Voyage to the Beginning of the World See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Manoel de Oliveira was 89 when he made the film. See more »

Connections

References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Machina Mundi (A Guerra)
Music by Emmanuel Nuñes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a humane travelogue to a corner on the earth
16 January 2018 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

A road-trip pans out like an impromptu documentary, four passengers, Manoel (Mastroianni), an aging film director, two actors, Afonso (Gautier) and Judite (Silveira), plus the assistant Duarte (Dória), roving around a rural Portugal in a minivan. This is Portugal's national treasure Manoel de Oliveira's VOYAGE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD, made when he was 89-year-old young.

Sentiment prevails inexorably because this film is Marcello Mastroianni's swan song, posthumously released one year after his departure at the age of 72, instantaneously, his image, a stooped old man, assisted by a walking stick, can breach a cinephile's defense line and allow one to pour out oceanic compassion to an indwelt screen icon with an inward wail. Yet, Mastroianni isn't playing himself, he is the avatar of Mr. de Oliveira, therefore, his self-reflection on youth, senility and life itself, can be ambivalently stemmed from either Marcello or Manoel through their amassed life philosophy (notably, the poem of Pa.

But the trip's de facto goal, is to set up a belatedly first meeting between Afonso and his paternal auntie Maria Afonso (de Castro). Born and raised entirely in France, and unequipped with his progenitor's mother tongue, Afonso embarks on the journey of discovering his biological root, to the place where his deceased father was born, with both trepidation and excitement. Here, countering the film's prior conversation-piece laden perambulation, Manoel leavens the drama with concentrated efficacy through Maria Afonso's initial cynical grumble (the legendary Portuguese actress Isabel de Castro furnishes the close-ups with searing potency), only to be thawed by an underlined consanguineous relation that transcends all the words.

Spasmodically enhancing the vignettes (often in the tailgate shots facing the road they have merely traversed) is an eerie, eclectic soundscape confected by Emmanuel Nuñes, ranging from jangling to surreal, VOYAGE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD, like its title indicates, is a humane travelogue to a corner on the earth which is largely forgotten by the rest of the world, as if time freezes, the beginning remains to be disinterred.


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