Cinema, Manoel de Oliveira and Me
by João Botelho
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An old photo taken 36 years ago. His hand rests on my shoulder. A blessing, a gift. Then, a history of over four decades of friendship, admiration and apprenticeship. A journey into Oliveira’s cinema, his method, his way of filming and his extraordinary cine- matographic inventions. He lived for over a century, over a century of cinema, cinema in its entirety. His turns of fortune and his knowledge, my own turns of fortune. For him, and for me now, documentary and fiction films go hand in hand; it is all about cinema. So I had the audacity to film a magnificent story that Manuel loved but never filmed, one that he left behind. As if his hand and eyes, close to God, or among the gods, were steering me so that, even now, he can continue to film through me.