David is married, has a daughter, and is about to leave Portugal with his family. But with his grandfather’s death, he has to return to his village before he leaves, and to a family he hasn´t seen in a long time. And a journey that was supposed to last the time of a burial, turns out to be a stay of several days. Because there David meets Ana, the wife of his cousin, and lets himself be caught by her disturbed but enchanting woman’s spell…
Director: José Álvaro Morais
Writer: José Álvaro Morais, Jeanne Waltz
Actors: Beatriz Batarda, Filipe Cary, Rita Durão, Ricardo Aibéo
Quaresma is a sort of mirror-film to Moon Fish. It is also the Portuguese rural upper class (or rather, what is left of it, that is, the status that above all cloisters it) that the film gravitates around, but this time everything takes place in the north – in the region of Covilhã, in the Serra da Estrela mountain range, relatively close to Morais’s birthplace, Coimbra, in the centre-north of Portugal. In Quaresma there is less sun, there is more gravity, the “land” is felt in a heavier way, the very air and sky seem to disappear in a mix of grey tones. There is still the desire for escape, but now it seems that the flight (real or illusionary, achieved or failed) can only be carried out by continuing north – to Denmark and to the austere beaches of the North Sea. It won’t be exaggerated to say that Quaresma is like a road-movie in circles, or a road-movie yearning to be confirmed by the road. All the characters that the film follows – those who still keep a desire for movement – follow the steps of their (im)possible and imagined escapes. Among them, one very special character, that of Beatriz Batarda, whose half-craziness states at the same time an hypothesis of escaping and its impossibility: like an “enfant sauvage”, her desire for freedom collides with the borders of her mind (and we are not sure that her perturbation is not rooted in her reclusion). Because the roads in Quaresma all have an end: either finishing by the heights of the Sierra da Estrela or by the shores of the North Sea. Stop. Like a last image of the film lies the one of the main character (Filipe Cary) in a very long shot, driving a bicycle all along the road – but there we are certainly in a territory of dreams, if not even already in “another” film. But the question, the great question in all of José Álvaro de Morais’s films, remains: what country is this, that clings to people with such strength at the same time as making them feel like running away?
DVDRip | MKV | 704 x 552 | AVC @ 1956 Kbps | 95 min | 1.43 Gb
Audio: Portuguese AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subs: Portuguese, English, French (embedded)
Genre: Drama | Portugal