In the heart of Portugal, amid the mountains, the month of August is abuzz with people and activity. As emigrants set off fireworks and sing karaoke, a strange relationship between a father, a daughter, and a nephew in a pop band unfolds.
Directed by the great Miguel Gomes, Our Beloved Month of August is an ethnographic portrait of a small town in the mountains of Portugal. Much like his much celebrated 2012 effort Tabu, here documentary and fiction collide to form a colorful and unique portrait of place.
Beautiful portrait of a raw, human Portugal like no other, featuring an accurate representation of a typical village in Summer. Odd movie, which seems like a duel created by Miguel Gomes between fiction, and the fiction inside the own fiction.
One of my most beautiful experience in cinema in last two years. I love the structure that's used cleverly here. I often found this kind of structure in films those talking about grand theory or big issue or highly-intellectual value, Our Beloved Month of August used it for emotional value, and came out a real gem.
Though the film seems to take an eternity to ever really get anywhere the final half hour is worth taking a journey to get to. Wall to wall Portuguese folk music accompany that journey in a tale about very little but recognizable human experience. The scene of a musical call and response across a dinner table is quite wonderful as is the credit sequence that closes the picture. Gomes would go on to make "Tabu".
d a r i n g experiment that works / intellectually gomes bares for us the ways we percept cinema and conducts his epic narrative as a rambling symphony that takes its time to take a particular form, emotionally his two last cinematic exercises (august and tabu) emit undistilled nostalgia for certain times, places, sounds and the sense of paradise lost / after a demanding screening "august" seems light as a feather
Not only it's a breakthrough (as far as I know) in cinema, it's a very powerful portrait of the rural Portugal, and I'm speaking from the mouth of someone who grew up right there. Everything seems familiar, with that dash of post-something that gets you off-guard.
Sometimes it can be exhilarating when a director seemingly has no idea what kind of film they want to make, opting to take the audience along on a quixotic creative joyride -- but in this case the results just felt meandering and unsatisfying.