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Vitalina Varela
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Vitalina Varela, dir. Pedro Costa, Portugal 2019, 124 min. English subtitles

In Pedro Costa’s 2014 drama Horse Money, Vitalina Varela made a memorable appearance, effectively playing herself. In this follow-up – less a sequel than a deeper pursuit of its themes and motifs – Varela steps into the foreground as a woman who, after years waiting for a plane ticket, arrives in Portugal three days after her husband’s funeral. A mesmerising contemplation of race, grief and exile, the film is magnificently photographed by Leonardo Simões, with a visual signature of velvet-dark night in crumbling backstreets, and human presences that acquire the grandeur of classical statuary. With its incantatory dialogue, this is essentially an opera without music, with Varela as a mightily imposing central figure alongside Costa’s ever-present everyman hero Ventura.
05:45 pm
Sat, 12 Oct 2019
Cinema 1

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