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Paula Rego, Secrets & Stories (2017)

A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, the film maker Nick Willing.


Nick Willing
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Complete credited cast:
Paula Rego Paula Rego ... Herself
Nick Willing Nick Willing ... Himself - Paula Rego's Son
John McEwen John McEwen ... Himself - Author
Jorge Sampaio Jorge Sampaio ... Himself - President of the Republic 1996-2006
Luis Amorim de Sousa Luis Amorim de Sousa ... Himself - Poet and Friend
Victoria Willing ... - Paula Rego's Daughter
Victor Willing Victor Willing ... Himself - Paula Rego's Husband
Cas Willing Cas Willing ... Herself - Paula Rego's Elder Daughter
Lila Nunes Lila Nunes ... Herself - Model and Assistant
Fiona Bradley Fiona Bradley ... Herself - Author (as Dr. Fiona Bradley)
Marina Warner Marina Warner ... Herself - Author (as Dame Marina Warner)
Ron Mueck Ron Mueck ... Himself - Paula Rego's Son-in-law
John Erle-Drax John Erle-Drax ... Himself - Fine Art Dealer


A unique insight into the life and work of celebrated painter Paula Rego directed by her son, the film maker Nick Willing.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The extraordinary story of the life and work of one of our most important artists.


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Release Date:

6 April 2017 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Paula Rego, Histórias & Segredos See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Himself - Paula Rego's Husband: Paula, I'm uncomfortable now all the time. Most of me is gone already. It only remains for me to dispose of the other little bit while I still can. I don't want to know what the bitter end is. This will be a lonely moment, I imagine. Sell my things slowly and wisely. I know you will paint even better. Trust yourself and you will be your own best friend. As well as sadness, you may also feel relief. Don't feel badly about that. Enjoy life, it's all there is. The kids are great. All my love, Vic.
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User Reviews

Stunning portrait of Paula Rego
27 March 2017 | by mickjongoldSee all my reviews

To make a biographical study of your own mother is a challenge to any documentary maker; it is even more formidable when your mother is a famous artist. Yet Nick Willing's portrait of Paula Rego succeeds beautifully as this film recounts the unlikely story of Rego's career. From her bourgeois background in Salazar's Portugal, she arrives at the Slade School of Art in the randy 1950s, where her future husband Victor Willing greets her at a party with the command, "Take down your knickers." A tumultuous marriage to Willing and three children never impede Rego's exploration of her own imagery, memories and fantasies. A life split between Portugal and London culminates in critical acclaim for Rego's paintings, patronage from Charles Saatchi and stellar price tags attached to her work by the Marlborough Gallery. Rego's compelling imagery and her unflinching honesty make the film a visual and psychological treasure trove.

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