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Cristóvão Colombo - O Enigma (2007)

A true story of a doctor and his wife who went on a journey in order to prove that discoverer Christopher Columbus was in fact Portuguese.


Manoel de Oliveira


Manuel da Silva (inspired by the book "Cristóvão Colon Era Português"), Sílvia da Silva (inspired by the book "Cristóvão Colon Era Português") | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricardo Trêpa Ricardo Trêpa ... Manuel Luciano (1946-60)
Leonor Baldaque Leonor Baldaque ... Sílvia (1957-60)
Manoel de Oliveira ... Manuel Luciano (2007)
Maria Isabel de Oliveira Maria Isabel de Oliveira ... Sílvia (2007)
Jorge Trêpa Jorge Trêpa ... Hermínio
Lourença Baldaque Lourença Baldaque ... O Anjo
Leonor Silveira Leonor Silveira ... Mãe
Luís Miguel Cintra Luís Miguel Cintra ... Director Museu Porto Santo
Keith Davis Keith Davis ... Funcionário Da Alfândega
José Pinto José Pinto ... Sr. José Sabino da Silva
John Wolf John Wolf ... Enfermeiro Hospital
Beth Common Beth Common ... Enfermeira Hospital
João Marques João Marques ... Padre Sé do Porto (as Padre João Marques)
Nuno Sota Nuno Sota ... Padre Igreja Alentejana
António Reis António Reis ... Director Museu de Beja


From the 1940's to today, Manuel Luciano has tried to discover the true identity of Christopher Columbus. In his multiple trips between Portugal and the United States, always joined by his ever-loving wife, he has witnessed the changes in time and places and is now very close to unveiling the mysteries of the world famous explorer. He just needs to make a final trip to Christopher Columbus' birth house Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life is the journey, life is the enigma.


Drama | History


See all certifications »



Portugal | France


Portuguese | English

Release Date:

10 January 2008 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Christoph Kolumbus - Das Rätsel See more »

Filming Locations:

Alentejo, Portugal See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Version of Christopher Columbus (1949) See more »


Downbeat Blues
Written and Performed by Ray Davies
Joseph Weinberger Limited
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User Reviews

Pretty to look at but it feels butchered
29 December 2009 | by Gloede_The_SaintSee all my reviews

The film is basically about this. A married couple is traveling around looking up sites connected to Christopher Columbus and various people give us some information about this historical figures life. There's also a woman who no one seems to see following them around, perhaps she is supposed to be an angel or something like that but it really didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the film.

Monoel de Oliveira was 99 at the the time he directed it so just that he made it was a great achievement but to be honest it wasn't too good.

It was filmed quite beautifully! And many of the scenes were great by themselves. However it's structure was rather poor. It jumped too much in time and the beginning of the film didn't have too much to do with the rest as it focuses on the leads youth and travel to America which is just cut off. So much is built up to at this point. We have yet to meet the father who called on the lead and his brother and the flow was rather nice but then we are multiple years later and he is a doctor and a scientist lecturing a group of people on diagnoses. We are then told that he has a fiancé back in Portugal but has history as a "mistress".

We then cut a few years into the future and our lead is getting married. And what follows (this is about half way into the film) is the actual plot which features 3 of their journeys, their honeymoon and two trips as old people. We have not heard a single word about Columbus since the beginning.

What's sad is that it's all so underplayed. We never really get close to the couple and we never really see it's obsession nor what it does to their marriage. Yes he is always talking about Columbus but we never get to see what drives it and what consequences it has. Furthermore the plot could have been built up more. As it is now it almost appears as mainly great single scenes thrown together. In fact it seems like they only got time to shoot about half the story. I really wish they had added more, included Columbus more or less all the way, gotten closer on the couple, shown how the lead got so obsessed with Columbus to begin with and perhaps also added something about how he went from a poor immigrant to a respected doctor.

It's length is just 75 minutes and it doesn't really give you time to get bored, the imagery is very nice to look at and you might learn a few things about Columbus. But this is far from a great film and I would not recommend it.

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