The 12th edition of Doclisboa launches tomorrow, Thursday, October 16, with nearly 70 feature docs unspooling until the fest comes to a close on Sunday, October 26, bookends by Sergei Loznitsa’s MAÏDAN and Peter von Bagh’s SOCIALISM, respectively. Taking an expansive view of nonfiction, the festival showcases a number of hybrid or fiction projects, essays, and experimental work within its lineup – sometimes with inscrutable program notes – as well as a significant amount of retrospective works. What follows are selections from some of the event’s programming strands:
Competition titles are divided into International and Portuguese work. Among the former are Adirley Queirós’ WHITE OUT BLACK IN, exploring racism in Brazil; Simone Rapisarda Casanova’s THE CREATION OF MEANING (pictured), about a shepherd in the Tuscan Alps; Wang Bing’s FATHER AND SONS, documenting the lives of a Chinese stonemason’s sons; and Daniel Hui’s SNAKESKIN, a hybrid imagining of Singapore’s future in 2066.
National cinema competing at the festival includes: João Pedro Plácido’s (BE)LONGING (pictured), a portrait of a small mountain community; Jorge Pelicano’s SUDDENLY MY THOUGHTS HALT, following a stage actor as he does research within a psychiatric hospital; and Luísa Homem and Pedro Pinho’s TRADING CITIES, a chronicle of changes wrought on an island by industry.
Offering personal takes on contemporary issues, the Investigations strand includes: Adjani Arumpac’s WAR IS A TENDER THING, about a Filipino land conflict along religious lines; Pilar Monsell’s AFRICA 815 (pictured), an exploration of the filmmaker’s father’s connection to a Spanish colony in the Sahara; Edgardo Cozarinsky’s LETTER TO A FATHER, the filmmaker’s study of his paternal ancestry; and Pavel Kostomarov, Aleksei Pivovarov, and Aleksandr Rastorguev’s THE TERM, focused on Russians who dare to speak out against Putin.
Innovative works are the focus of New Visions – among them: Flavia de la Fuente’s 15 DAYS AT THE BEACH, a durationally-derived portrait of the coast; Peter von Bagh’s REMEMBRANCE – A SMALL MOVE ABOUT OULU IN THE 1950s, an essay of the filmmaker’s Arctic hometown; and Dominique Auvray’s DURAS AND THE CINEMA, about the writer/director. Special Programs include Eduardo Coutinho’s ELIZABETH TEXIEIRA’S FAMILY (pictued), as the director revisits the subject of his earlier films; and Xapo Ortega and Xavier Artigas’ DEAD CITY, about the efforts of a group of Barcelonan cinema occupiers to reveal a case of corruption. Finally, the fest’s participation in DocAlliance includes a screening of André Valentim Almeida’s THE QUEST OF THE SCHOONER CREOULA, in which the filmmaker uncovers his own family connections while chronicling a scientific expedition.