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PEOPLE Portugal

Reactions to the death of Manoel de Oliveira


- From politicians to some of his fetish actors, Oliveira’s death left none indifferent

Reactions to the death of Manoel de Oliveira
Manoel de Oliveira

No one seemed to believe – rather no one seemed to want to believe – that Manoel de Oliveira was not immortal and he did indeed leave us yesterday at the age of 106 (read more). The Portuguese government has announced three days of national mourning and the City Hall of Porto, Oliveira’s hometown, so often photographed and immortalised in his films, has declared two days of mourning.

Oliveira, who once told French magazine Cahiers du Cinéma that he felt that in Portugal there was “a great indifference towards the work I achieved”, is being remembered by various personalities, from politicians to film professionals. Cineuropa gathers some of those tributes:

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“Only a singular character would make it possible to look at the world – and to look at the city of Porto – with the eyes, the lense and the critical spirit with which Oliveira looked at life and everything around him.”
Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto

“Oliveira carried the whole memory of the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his cinema, he has always reflected upon Humanity and upon Portugal, seen within that Humanity. For me, he is perhaps the greatest figure of Portuguese thought.”
Margarida Gil, director and President of Portuguese Directors Association

"This loss hurts us all, but great creators never disappear. They stay for ever.”
Maria João Seixas, former director of the Portuguese Film Museum

“Oliveira gave us a lot. For 60 years he gave us the image of Portugal as a country of culture – but it is actually uncultured”.
Mário Dorminsky,  director of the Fantasporto festival

“Manoel left us as late as he could. For those who remain and for those who are still to come the important thing is his legacy: all the films he made. They are all great films and will last for decades and centuries. They will be part of the Portuguese and World cultural heritage; they are incomparable to other things made in the 20th century.”
Pedro Borges, producer/exhibitor

“My grandfather made Portugal alive through his films”
Ricardo Trêpa, actor and grandson

“Manoel de Oliveira was an example of perseverance and struggle against inertia.”
Carlos Tê, composer/songwriter

“It will be hard for me to see the world without his light. He had a long and incredible life. My favourite Oliveira film is Abraham’s Valley.”
John Malkovich, actor

"My love for Manoel transcends the sharing of art. It is an unbearable loss, but the memories I am left with will always be happy ones. I was an implausible actress. He is my master and I am his muse.”
Leonor Silveira, actress

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