New York Film Festival – Mistérios de Lisboa / Mysteries of Lisbon

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10 October
New York Film Festival
Mysteries of Lisbon (Mistérios de Lisboa)
Raúl Ruiz, 2010, Portugal/France, 272m

Léa Seydoux … Branca de Montfort
Melvil Poupaud … Ernesto Lacroze
Clotilde Hesme … Elisa de Montfort
José Afonso Pimentel … Pedro da Silva Adulto
Catarina Wallenstein … Condessa de Arosa
Maria João Bastos … Ângela de Lima
Lena Friedrich … Moçoila
Filipe Vargas … D. Paulo de Albuquerque
Malik Zidi … Visconde Armagnac
Joana Pinhão Botelho … Criadita
Albano Jerónimo … Conde de Santa Bárbara
Ricardo Pereira … Alberto de Magalhães & Come-Facas
Carloto Cotta … D. Álvaro de Albuquerque
Adriano Luz … Padre Dinis & Sabino Cabra & Sebastião de Melo
Margarida Vila-Nova … Marquesa de Alfarela

A breathtaking visualization of Camilo Castelo Branco’s 1854 “diary of suffering” Mistérios de Lisboa. Distilled from a 6-hour television production.

The story begins and ends with teenage boy living under the care of a mysterious priest and desperate to discover his parentage. Gradually introduced to his mother, a beautiful countess married to a sadistic nobleman, the boy slowly learns pieces of his story, always a step behind us, with tragic consequences.

Layers of confession, penance and forgiveness. Expert art direction and camerawork, including one unforgettable sequence in which the narrator’s mother gives permission for the priest to tell her son the story of his birth. Opens in sun, which becomes overcast as she withdraws.

Update: US Distributor – Music Box Films (2011)