Charles Chaplin’s centenary short film ‘The Emigrant’, 1917, opens on Friday a cycle programmed by the Cinemateca Portuguesa in Lisbon, with films that ‘mirror the way the phenomenon of migration has been reflected in the cinema’.
With the title ‘Peoples in motion – migration, exile, diaspora’, the cycle will run until the beginning of May with a choice of films covering 100 years of cinema and history, with fictions, documentaries, essays, and rarities.
“The general principle was to look at how the cinema represented the main movements generated by economic and political causes that marked the 20th century and are marking this beginning of the century, with some antecedents in the immediately preceding period,” says Cinemateca on the March schedule.
The film will also include Aldo Fabrizi’s ‘Emigrantes’ (1948), John Ford’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ (1940), ‘Rocco and his Brothers’ (1960), by Luchino Visconti, ‘The Promise’ ( 1996), of the Dardenne brothers, Jonas Mekas’ Reminiscences of a journey to Lithuania (1972), recently killed, ‘The Big City’ (1966), by Brazilian Cacá Diegues, and ‘América, América’ (1963) scored by Elia Kazan.
“The vast differences that exist between these films mirror the way in which the phenomenon of migration has been reflected in the cinema, which is a clear indication of how this phenomenon has been seen through the ages: Ideally, in classical or modern fictions, or in the crudeness that this theme always raises in documentaries, “says Cinemateca.
The cycle will not forget countries like Portugal “that for centuries were emigration lands, were abruptly transformed into immigration spaces”, and included some films, among which were Sérgio Tréfaut’s “Lisboetas” (2004) and “Fantasia Lusitana” (2010), by João Canijo.
According to Cinemateca, the cycle will have an epilogue in May exclusively focusing on emigration and the Portuguese diaspora in France, with a specific program to be announced and that will include a debate.
At the opening session of the cycle, on Friday, the short film by Charles Chaplin, “one of the most celebrated individuals to emigrate to the United States”, will be screened in dialogue with James’ Emigrant (2013) Gray and with Marion Cotillard.