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8.1
/10
685 Ratings

Vitalina Varela

Directed by Pedro Costa
Portugal, 2019
Drama

Synopsis

When her husband leaves to find work in Portugal, Vitalina is left behind in Cape Verde. Years later, she finally makes the journey to Lisbon, but arrives three days after his funeral. Alone and isolated in her late husband’s home, she is determined to persevere and confront the ghosts of the past.

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Vitalina Varela Directed by Pedro Costa

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

2019 | 2 wins including: Golden Leopard

2019 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

The result is something spectral, beguiling, deceptively quiet and still, and, by even this director’s standards, a singular feat of image-making and design.
June 11, 2020
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There is a reason there are not many films like this. Vitalina Varela is so uncompromising and so concentrated that it threatens to absorb the projector beam, as if the projectionist’s black cue mark could take over the whole frame from one corner.
April 26, 2020
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Repeating themes of desolation, loneliness, regret, and immiseration from previous films, Costa expresses his sympathy in dirge-like fashion. This highly stylized film, as visually striking as the others, is representation by the Rembrandt of the ghetto.
March 25, 2020
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