After a play by Prista Monteiro by the master of Portuguese cinema. A blind beggar is robbed of his chest of money. The theft leads to a dramatic situation in the street where he begs every day.
The casket, a caixa, from the title is the official instrument needed in Portugal by a blind beggar to make a living. The beggar in lives and works in an alleyway – a staircase winding upwards through a poor neighbourhood. His daughter does the housekeeping and also works as washerwoman. Her unemployed husband lives from her money and from his father- in-law’s begging casket. When the casket is stolen for the second time, events take a dramatic turn. The film is based on a play by Prista Monteiro and has a theatrical mood; the action remains limited to that one alleyway that functions as a stage set. De Oliveira himself described the film as a portrait of humanity, introduced via a group of poor and marginal – not to say forgotten – people. –IFFR
Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira, GCSE (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐnuˈɛɫ doliˈvɐjɾɐ]; born December 11, 1908) is a Portuguese film director born in Cedofeita, Porto. He is currently the oldest active film director in the world.
Manoel de Oliveira was born in Porto, Portugal on December 11, 1908, to Francisco José de Oliveira and Cândida Ferreira Pinto. His family were wealthy industrialists.
Oliveira attended school in Galicia, Spain and his goal as a teenager was to become an actor. He enrolled in Italian film-maker Rino Lupo’s acting school at age 20, but later changed his mind when he saw Walther Ruttmann’s documentary Berlin: Symphony of a City. This prompted him to direct his first film, also a documentary, titled Douro, Faina Fluvial (1931).
He also has the distinction of having acted in the second Portuguese sound film, A Canção de Lisboa (1933).
His first feature film came much later, in 1942. Aniki-Bóbó, a portrait of Oporto’s street children… read more