14 user 33 critic

José e Pilar (2010)

A documentary on Nobel Prize Winner José Saramago and his feelings over his wife, his country and life, as a whole.
5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Joao Afonso ... Himself
Àngels Barceló ... Herself (voice)
... Herself
... Himself
... Himself
... Himself
Tarja Halonen ... Herself
Paco Ibáñez ... Himself
Tomás Eloy Martínez ... Himself
... Himself
César Antonio Molina ... Himself
María Pagés ... Herself
Luis Pastor ... Himself
Miguel Ríos ... Himself
... Himself


"José and Pilar," a documentary by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes, is a deeply moving story about love, loss and literature. It follows the days of José Saramago, the Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, and his wife, Pilar del Rio. The film shows their whirlwind life of international travel, his passion for completing his masterpiece, "The Elephant's Journey" and how their love quietly sustains them throughout. "Jose and Pilar" reveals the hidden Saramago, unravels any preconceived notions about him, and proves that genius and simplicity are indeed compatible. It is a funny and touching portrait on the endurance of the artistic spirit. A glimpse into the life of one of the greatest creators of the 20th century, it shows us that, as Saramago says, "There is always another way to say everything." Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I have ideas for novels and Pilar has ideas for life. And I still don't know which is more important. See more »


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Official Sites:

Official site


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Release Date:

April 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

José y Pilar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Portugal's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. See more »


José Saramago: Chaos is an order to decipher.
See more »


As cartas
Written by David Santos
Performed by Noiserv)
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User Reviews

Unpretentious Sincerity
16 December 2011 | by See all my reviews

This film, as Variety has mentioned, definitely blurs the line between documentary and fiction -If one does not recognize the protagonists - it could just as well be a fictional film about Love - as it should be.

The film is captivating, avoids sentimentality and becomes expansive in your mind days after viewing. Will probably have to see it various times to really capture the organic magic that Goncalves has created in Jose and Pilar.

As a side note, it is curious to note that Saramago not only wrote the Elephant's Journey during this film but 2 more stories, Cain and The Notebook after the film ...

It is a hopeful piece of film. Just beautiful.

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