Sérgio Tréfaut and Mário Patrocinio make their comebacks with new documentaries
by Vitor Pinto
- This week, Alentejo, Alentejo and I Love Kuduro hit Portuguese screens
As a genre that is gaining increasing popularity among Portuguese audiences, the documentary film can count two titles among the week’s new releases: Alentejo, Alentejo and I Love Kuduro.
Following his foray into fiction films with Journey to Portugal in 2011, director Sérgio Tréfaut has returned to documentary – the genre that gave him international visibility, particularly with the movie Lisboetas – for his new film Alentejo, Alentejo. The film, which won the Best Portuguese Film Award at the last IndieLisboa, is being released across three screens.
Given the fact that traditional Portuguese music is not only limited to fado, the film focuses on the cante, a type of polyphonic song from Alentejo that is closely linked to the rural and labour traditions of this region in southern Portugal. Using the cante as his starting point, Tréfaut paints a portrait of the region’s towns and villages, giving clues about the evolution of a society that has for decades been characterised by low incomes and the phenomenon of emigration.
In addition to its various cante sequences, the movie offers some charming scenes filmed in primary schools and several testimonies from different generations – almost always filmed during traditional family meals – that allow the audience to understand the role of the Alentejan diaspora and the new generations in carrying on a tradition that has now become an intangible form of cultural heritage.
Moving away from Alentejo and heading to Angola, audiences will also be able to discover I Love Kuduro by Mário Patrocinio. The director of the award-winning Complexo – Universo Paralelo (2011) is back, joined once again by his brother – DoP Pedro Patrocinio – to document the phenomenon of the kuduro. Originating in Luanda in the 1990s, kuduro is a rhythm that developed thanks to a fusion with other styles of music like kizomba, sungura and Afro house. Blending Portuguese with a number of local dialects, kuduro became a popular export to Europe and the rest of the world, going on to become one of the primary references for Angolan culture.
I Love Kuduro is hitting screens in the wake of a tour around various international festivals, such as Rio de Janeiro, DocLisboa, HotDocs and Guadalajara.
(Translated from Spanish)