Film ‘A Portuguesa’ opens ‘door to the present’ at the Berlin festival

The film ‘A Portuguesa’, which will be shown today at the Berlin Film Festival, ‘opens a door to the present’ and has a lot to do with the day, reveals the director Rita Azevedo Gomes.

The feature film, which is part of the Forum section of the 69th Berlinale, is inspired by a tale by Robert Musil, with adaptation and dialogue by Agustina Bessa-Luís.

“I am interested in passing a certain currentness of our time into a story that takes place in a very old century … This is a story that has a lot to do with our day. I do not know if they existed without being talking about the people who are by my side and what is happening nowadays “, underlines the Portuguese director.

The story is set in the sixteenth century in northern Italy when the von Ketten dispute the forces of the Episcopate of Trent. Rita Azevedo Gomes admits that “more than a concern”, pulling the film for the present happens to him “naturally”.

“We are filming a simulated scene with a few slices, some décors, some postures, indications, but then we leave, and we go to the traffic, we go to the subway, it is inevitable that I have to open the door inside the film The idea of Ingrid Caven’s character has to do with it, opening a rip. I think it’s more interesting than making a film of the time, well done, with a supposed truth because you do not know if it’s true or not, never I’ve been there, it’s a representation. But what happens in people, the struggles of power, religion, human relations, woman-man relations, remain similar today, “explains the director.

The author of “The Sound of the Earth to Tremble” (1990) and “Correspondencias” (2016) is present for the first time in the Berlinale, “a great festival”, as it qualified it.

“It’s always exciting to get to a festival that’s obviously going to be good for the movie, I hope.” It may open up new opportunities to make other films, which is always a good thing, but it’s a bit overwhelming this texture of glamor and market, it’s disconcerting. I still can not see a movie, it’s all a gallop, “he says, laughing.

Still, Rita Azevedo Gomes laments the imbalance between the festivals and the cinemas: “I would like people rather than get so intoxicated with festivals to go to the movies because they do not go. In Lisbon this happens, there are crowds flocking to festivals and then there are movie theaters that have five viewers, there is something that is reversed. ”

The film ‘A Portuguesa’ has already been described by critics as a tribute to Manoel de Oliveira and Rita Azevedo Gomes as a disciple, but the Portuguese director denies the comparisons.

“No, I’m a disciple of Manoel de Oliveira, like the paintings, the painters and the musicians, and with all the admiration I have for him, I do not remember him or his films when I make my films. I really like his films and him as a person. But they really put that in me, I’m very proud, but I do not feel that way, “he says.

Rita Azevedo Gomes confesses the difficulty in making films that led her to ponder giving up, thus justifying the time between each of her works.

“Sometimes it is difficult and there are very big interludes, now not so much in the last few years.” Between that first film and the second I’ve been stopped for ten years. and then I thought maybe it was better not to think about it anymore. But I had to go check it out and try it and there I could do the second one. And in recent years there has been a more rhythmic sequence, let’s see if there will be another [movie], I have the expectation that yes, but it does not depend only on us, “he says.

The 69th edition of the Berlinale is, of all those held to date, the one that has more women in the making.

“I listened to this yesterday and said,” And then? “Once I read this huge nonsense in Buenos Aires at the festival. Above the coffee table was a newspaper that said they wanted to change the rules and do fairness, from the programmers, the number of movies of men and women, of the elements of the jury. What is this? Why? It is total nonsense. When one reaches the point where one thinks that certain values and certain transformations will be gained by these things. like this, “he argues.

The way of having equal between men and women in the cinema is, according to the director, “making films and persisting”.

“I also know what it’s like to be treated with a certain paternalism, a certain condescension, even within the team.” When this started, I was the girl to perform. It was not out of spite, but it was natural, there was a difference that inhibited the possibility of doing and it’s serious and stupid too, “stresses Rita Azevedo Gomes, stressing the need not to give up.

‘A Portuguesa’ is the first national film to be shown in this edition of the Berlinale. It has as interpreters Clara Riedenstein, Marcello Urgeghe, Rita Durão, Pierre Léon, João Vicente, Manuela de Freitas, Adelaide Teixeira, Alexandre Alves Costa, and Ingrid Caven.

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