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Xcèntric 2022

Trás-os-Montes. Anthropology at the service of the imagination


This session forms part of the Aula Xcèntric's programme of screenings entitled Ethnographic F(r)ictions, inviting us to discover a series of works that are far removed from traditional ethnographic cinema (objectivist and realist), experimental attempts to think and create a more open and critical anthropological cinema which, without ignoring the demands of ethnographic research, experiments both at a formal and methodological level. 

"It's as if, suddenly, everything were possible: walking on water or taking four or five steps in the clouds" (Jean Rouch, Cine Ethnography).   

This film, by the Portuguese couple António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, is a poetic portrait of the Trás-os-Montes region in the north-easternmost part of Portugal. 

Shot with a small crew that moved on foot between the villages, this film is the result of a close relationship with its protagonists, including a group of children who guide us through the countryside by means of its stories and legends. The film takes us into a rural world where space and time become blurred and the reality observed in the present entwines with a time that fluctuates between a mythical past and an uncertain future. The directors therefore break with the conventions of objectivist ethnographic cinema, presenting us with a documentary in the form of a children's game, in which the lyrical, imaginary and real merge together within a framework that goes beyond the limits of the genre. 

Trás-os-Montes, António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro, Portugal, 1975, 35 mm, 108'.

DCP screening, from the Cinemateca Portuguesa. Subtitled in Spanish.

Directors: Margarida Cordeiro, António Reis

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2022

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