New to VOD via Microsoft this week:
VOLTA À TERRA
João Pedro Plácido
Chicago, Cannes (ACID), Visions du Réel, BFI London, São Paulo, DOK Leipzig, Hot Springs Doc, Camerimage, DocPoint, Festibval dei Popoli, Trento
A year in the life of a small northern Portuguese village.
Uz is a community which has seen better days – at present barely 50 people call it home. Among these is Daniel, a 21-year-old who is gently teased by his fellow farmers and shepherds for his work ethic, but seems to get by alright, happy with a life rooted in traditional ways. What he lacks, however, is a wife, as available women are in short supply for the few bachelors in Uz. Plácido follows Daniel and a few other villagers over the course of four seasons, tending to their fields and livestock, working the land, and planning their annual summer festival – a rare opportunity for mixing with residents of neighboring communities. It’s here that Daniel runs into an old classmate and sees the potential for a romantic future. This well-shot film effectively captures the rhythms of rural life while offering a clear sense of some distinct personalities, resulting in a charming observational study of a place that feels from a different time.