Oliveira films Columbus code
by Vitor Pinto
Yesterday, several streets in the centre of Lisbon hosted the set of Manoel de Oliveira's new film, Cristovão Colombo, o enigma. After paying homage to Buñuel with Belle Toujours [+see also:
film profile] (finally scheduled to open domestically on May 17, see news), the world's oldest filmmaker still active is now focusing on the figure of Christopher Columbus, whose nationality has divided some academics throughout the centuries.
Produced by Filmes do Tejo, Oliveira's film is based on the book Cristovão Colon [Colombo] Era Português by US-based researchers Manuel Luciano da Silva and his wife Silvia Jorge da Silva, according to which the famous navigator was born in Cuba, a small village in the South of Portugal. This would also be the reason why he named Cuba the biggest island discovered in the Caribbean Sea.
The film is not a typical biopic, however. Rather, it is structured around the life of the two researchers, who emigrated from Portugal to the US at a very young age. Oliveira's regulars Ricardo Trepa and Leonor Baldaque star as the couple passionate about Columbus. Leonor Silveira and Oliveira himself will appear in cameos.
After Lisbon, Oliveira's cast and crew will travel to other towns in Portugal before crossing the Atlantic to continue shooting in the US: New York City, Newport (Rhode Island) and Berkeley (Massachusetts). The film is set to premiere in July, in Washington D.C., during the US visit of Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva.
Before that, Oliveira is also expected to attend the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, as he is one of the 35 top-class directors selected by Gilles Jacob to celebrate the festival’s diamond anniversary (see news).
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