O ANO DA MORTE DE RICARDO REIS
by JOÃO BOTELHO
Written by João Botelho / From the novel byJosé Saramago / Photography João Ribeiro / Editing João Braz / Starring Chico Diaz, Luís Lima Barreto, Catarina Wallenstein, Victoria Guerra / Produced by Alexandre Oliveira
Portugal 2020 / 127′
V.O. sub. ITA
Cinema De Seta
Lisbon, 1936. After 16 years in exile, Ricardo Reis, one of the heteronyms the well-known writer Fernando Pessoa used, returns to Portugal. Here reality and fiction, the lives (and deaths) of the author and his alter ego come together, set against the background of one of the darkest periods of history: the rise of totalitarian regimes. Based on a remarkable book by the Nobel prize winner José Saramago, it is a highly sophisticated film from a formal standpoint and its flaring B/W images make way to colors when everything changes or does not change, not really at least.
João Botelho is one of the most prolific Portuguese directors to date. His films have participated in the most renowned international film festivals and he has received many accolades, such as the OCIC Promotional Award, Forum of New Cinema in 1986 in Berlin and ‘Premio Fondazione Mimmo Rotella’ in 2001 in Venice. Retrospectives of his work have been organized in Bergamo (1996), in La Rochelle, which also dedicated a monographic publication to him (1998), at the Cinémathèque in Luxemburg, and at the LEFEEST (2018) in Lisbon.
© New Voice Film Productions, 2019