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Joao, the bastard child of an ill-fated romance between two members of the aristocracy who are forbidden to marry, sets out on a quest to discover the truth of his parentage amongst a multitude of characters whose fates conjoin, separate and then rejoin again over three decades.
Romance! Vengeance! Pirates! Don’t let the running time put you off, this sprawling, Dickensian Bildungsroman marries the narrative sweep of the best TV to the artistry of a cinematic master operating at the top of his game. Raúl Ruiz’s mesmerising epic is what weekend afternoons were made for.