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Vitalina Varela

This film is streaming online as part of PIFF 2.0

Directed by Pedro Costa

Portugal • 2019 • 124 mins.

in Portuguese with English subtitles

In this follow-up to Costa’s incredible Horse Money (a PIFF38 selection), Vitalina Varela, a widow from Cape Verde, travels to the Fontainhas neighborhood of Lisbon for her husband’s funeral after 25 long years apart—having learned of his death only three days before her arrival. Vitalina must piece together the last two decades of his life, as she encounters his friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the local priest (portrayed by Costa regular Ventura) in her search for answers, closure, and a new beginning in Fontainhas. Bridging past and present with his haunting, shadow-heavy visual compositions that conjure the chiaroscuro paintings of the Renaissance more than anything in contemporary cinema, Costa sculpts a quiet, intense ghost story around Vitalina’s unforgettable portrayal of a woman unmoored, but seeking peace. A Grasshopper Film release.

 



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