Vitalina Varela

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Portugal | 2019 | 124 minutes | Pedro Costa

February 28 - March 1, 2020

Serving as an elegiac journey through the slums of Lisbon's Fontainhas, Pedro Costa's (Horse Money, Colossal Youth) Vitalina Varela unfolds with a quiet insularity as the titular widow at the center of the story searches for clues among the rubble about the final days of her husband's life.

The actress Vitalina Varela reprises her character (also named Vitalina Varela) from Pedro Costa's last film Horse Money, a woman whose husband's promise to reunite them in Lisbon never came to pass. Traveling to the place of his death some 25 years after their separation, Vitalina walks the streets scouring them for answers to a painfully unsolvable puzzle, while spending her nights in the downtrodden hovel where he spent the past two and half decades. Working once again with cinematographer Leonardo Simões, Costa captures the streets and interiors of Fontainhas in a smoky chiaroscuro that seems to signify the blotting out of the universe in which his characters live. A remarkably emotionally and visually engaging achievement; Vitalina Varela lingers in the imagination long after the end credits roll over the screen.

"A ravishing, masterful vision. Trancendent. Gorgeous. The camera lingers on stunning compositions with such delicate palettes they may as well be Renaissance paintings brought to life."—Eric Kohn, IndieWire

  • Director: Pedro Costa
  • Principal Cast: Vitalina Varela, Ventura, Manuel Tavares Almeida, Francisco Brito, Marina Alves Domingues, Imídio Monteiro
  • Country: Portugal
  • Year: 2019
  • Running Time: 124 minutes
  • Producer: Abel Ribeiro Chaves
  • Screenplay: Pedro Costa, Vitalina Varela
  • Cinematographers: Leonardo Simões
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes