José e Pilar to open Portimão
by Vitor Pinto
The second edition of Visões do Sul - Portimão International Film Festival, kicks off tonight with the screening of José e Pilar [+see also:
film profile], the praised documentary by Miguel Gonçalves Mendes, which was recently seen at the doclisboa Festival and is set for theatrical release on November 18.
José e Pilar portrays the relationship between Portuguese Nobel Prize winner for Literature José Saramago (who died last June) and his Spanish wife, journalist and translator Pilar del Río. Gonçalves Mendes followed them during the writing process of Saramago’s novel The Elephant's Journey, from the first draft of its plot at their Lanzarote house in 2006 until the book’s official launch in Brazil in 2008.
The result was 240 hours of material reduced to a 125-minute film, which reveals the intimate side of the controversial writer, who was both praised and criticised for his left-wing political positions and his highly proclaimed anti-clericalism.
José e Pilar is produced by the director’s outfit JumpCut, in co-production with Spain’s El Deseo and Brazil's O2 Filmes. The soundtrack features the work of top musicians, inculuding Spain’s Alberto Iglesias and Brazil’s Adriana Calcanhotto.
The festival line-up also includes a list of titles co-produced between Europe and Mediterranean countries, among them Haim Tabakman’s Eyes Wide Open [+see also:
film profile] (Israel/Germany/France), Pelin Esmer’s 10 To 11 [+see also:
film profile] (Turkey/France), Raja Amari’s Buried Secrets [+see also:
film profile] (Tunisia/Switzerland/France) and Eyal Sivan’s Jaffa, the Orange's Clockwork [+see also:
interview: Eyal Sivan
film profile] (Israel/France/Belgium/Germany).
Local documentary Fantasia Lusitana by João Canijo will close the event on October 31.
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