Vitalina Varela


Vitalina Varela, Ventura,

Vitalina Varela travels to Lisbon from Cape Verde, only to find out that her husband, from whom she has been separated for decades, was buried three days prior. Based on her own story, Varela’s emotionally potent performance delves into the grief that both drives her and haunts her. In what might be Pedro Costa’s most visually stunning work, the “society of Black Cape Verdean immigrants whom Costa films is presented as a world apart . . . enshrouded in an endless night at the margins of Portuguese society. Pushed into homelessness, forced into a cycle of crime and incarceration, relegated to substandard housing, the residents of Cova de Moura inhabit a perpetual realm of furtive darkness that offers them the cover in which to survive outside the gaze of hostile authority and the menacing chill of official indifference. . . . These immigrants [which include longtime collaborator Ventura] endure an apathy of inner colonialism, in which the hostility that they face and the exclusion in which they live has seeped into their bones and turned their energies self-consuming and self-exhausting” (Richard Brody, New Yorker). Winner of the Golden Leopard at Locarno, along with the Best Actress prize for Varela.

  • Pedro Costa
  • Vitalina Varela
  • Leonardo Simões
  • Cape Verdean Creole
  • Portuguese
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 124 mins
  • Grasshopper Film

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