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Fado: Lisbon as the backdrop for a story of jealousy


- The debut feature by director Jonas Rothlaender is a story that stars German and Portuguese actors

Fado: Lisbon as the backdrop for a story of jealousy
Actors Luise Heyer and Golo Euler with director Jonas Rothlaender

After an initial round of filming in Berlin in December of last year, the Fado [+see also:
film review
interview: Jonas Rothlaender
film profile
 team has moved to Lisbon, where it will remain until March in order to shoot what will be German Jonas Rothlaender’s debut feature film. The movie is a co-production between German outfits Stick Up Filmproduktion (Luis Singer, Dennis Schanz and Tara Biere) and Atara Film, and Portuguese firm Primeira Idade (Joana Gusmão and Pedro Fernandes Duarte).

Fado is a story about jealousy that explores the boundary that exists between a reconstructed love and a destructive and obsessive interdependence. Just like that, we follow a German doctor, Fabian (Golo Euler), who leaves Berlin to try to win back his ex girlfriend. Dora (Luise Heyer) is an architect who, following their break-up, began a new life in Lisbon. The two decide to give it another go but they will soon realize that they’re bogged down in old patters of mutual distrust and blame.

The German actors are joined by a group of Portuguese actors, including notably Albano JerónimoIsabel Abreu and Duarte Grillo. Rothlaender will work with them using a solid screenplay (created by himself and by Sebastian Bleyl), but there will also be room for improvisation, a method previously explored by the director in his last short movie Auf Anfang.

“The way in which Fabian’s concept of reality becomes ever more contaminated by his paranoiac hallucinations is, in my opinion, a true filmmaking process. My aim is for the viewer to be able to share in the character’s confusion and to experience the same difficulty of separating reality from imagination”, said Rothlaender, who aside from painting the intimate portrait of a man who destroys his own happiness, also seeks to root his story in the current social context of Portugal, inevitably linked to the economic crisis.

Fado is, together with Porto Mon Amour (read more) and O Grande Circo Místico by Brazilian Carlos Diegues and co-produced by Luís Galvão Telles (Fado Filmes), one of the three international co-productions filmed in Portugal this winter.

(Translated from Spanish)

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