Pedro Costa, who was awarded the prize for best achievement with "Horse Money" in 2014, returned to the festival with "Vitalina Varela", about a Cape Verdean woman who arrived in Portugal in 2013, three days after her husband's death. .
The film made its world premiere in Locarno on Wednesday and is guaranteed distribution and release in 2020 in the United States.
Pedro Costa met Vitalina Varela while riding "Horse Money", eventually including part of her story in the narrative, but the new film is entirely dedicated to this 55-year-old Cape Verdean.
"Vitalina Varela" is the story of a woman who spent most of her life waiting to go to her husband, Joaquim, who emigrated to Portugal. Knowing that he died, Vitalina Varela arrived in Portugal three days after his funeral, read the press release of the company, Optec Filmes.
Since its debut, the film has garnered a lot of worldwide critical acclaim, notably from the Hollywood Reporter, which describes it as “an intimate epic” and “tragic,” considering that this new feature will put Pedro Costa “to a new level. environment, form and narrative ”.
The Indie Wire portal, for its part, defined "Vitalina Varela" as another "sweeping and masterful vision of Pedro Costa".
For its part, the online site LesInrocks, of the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, describes the work of the Portuguese director as a project “between documentary and intimate portrait”, in an environment that "intrigues for its aridity and plastic beauty".
This new Pedro Costa film will be in competition in September at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada and will be presented at the 57th New York Film Festival in the United States.
The Swiss festival competition also included the premiere of João Nicolau's "Technoboss," starring former cultural programmer Miguel Lobo Antunes, in the role of a divorced sexagenarian, and actress Luisa Cruz.
This film was joined by "The End of the World", the second Portuguese fiction feature film by Portuguese-born Basil da Cunha, about Spirra, a young man "fresh out of boarding school, and [que] meets again with friends in Reboleira ".
Out of competition, Locarno also exhibited José Filipe Costa's "Pleasure, Comrades!" From stories of Portuguese and foreigners living in co-operatives and Portuguese villages in the post-April 25, 1974.
In the 'Pardi di Domani' section, the Portuguese co-production “Volcano: What dreams a lake?”, By Romanian Diana Vidrascu, developed in an artistic residence in the Azores, was exhibited, while Maya Kosa and Sérgio da Costa showed "L'île aux oiseaux" , the contest in the Gift Filmmakers section.