Country: Portugal
Year: 1966
Duration: 90'

A fishing village in the Furadouro, where the sea is gradually eating away the land and the houses; the old community of fishermen with their thousand-year-old techniques is making way to "progress" and the temptation to emigrate. Adelino, back from the colonial war, finds that Julia, the girl he used to love, has married his brother Raimundo. Adelino's bitter disappointment and his war wound drive him away from the fishing community, and he looks for less arduous work in the countryside around the estuary, where he meets a new woman, the wild, free Albertina, who works in a textile factory, and who challenges him to go "somewhere else", to change his life...

"I know this area and its inhabitants very well, I've spent at least three months there every year of my life. For ten years I'd been looking for a story that would start from the concrete elements I had right before my eyes. The dances, for instance: they made a great impression on me because they were shameless and tragic at the same time, there was a desperate sense of joy in them... The primary purpose of the film was to bring out the harmony that had been created between life as it was lived along the riverside and as it was lived by the sea. Two ways of life punctuated by a sort of covenant on the social and financial level, based on the proximity of the two elements of earth and water... It's a world based on the natural cycle, on metamorphoses that I was only partially successful in showing; it's a world that doesn't exist any more, because it has been invaded by History, which has destroyed the balance on which it was founded. That's the whole subject of the second part of the film. The cycle has been interrupted, people have had to make their choices. It's the passage from a period defined by nature to a period in which Man is the centre. (Paulo Rocha, "Cahiers du Cinéma", n. 183, October 1966)


& Credits

Director and plot: Paulo Rocha.
Dialogues: António Reis.
Director of photography: Elso Roque.
Assistente operatore: Carlos Manuel Silva.
Editor: Margareta Mangs, Paulo Rocha.
Music: Carlos Paredes.
Sound: Alfredo Tropa.
Art director: Zeni d'Ovar.
Assistente al montaggio: Noémia Delgado.
Director assistant: Antonio Campos
Production company: Antonio da Cunha Telles (Produções Cunha Telles).
Director of Production: F. Matos Silva.
Cast and characters: Geraldo d'El Rey (Adelino), Isabel Ruth (Albertina), Maria Barroso (Julia), João Guedes (Inacio), Nunes Vidal, Mário Santos (vecchio), Constança Navarro (vecchia).
Prima proiezione pubblica: Festival di Venezia, 1966.