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  Cycle index  
The Northern Land
A Corte do Norte
dir. João Botelho / Portugal 2008 / 122’
subtitles: Polish and English
Panorama

Cast

Ana Moreira, Rogério Samora, Ricardo Aibéo, Marcello Urgeghe, Margarida Vila-Nova, Rita Blanco

Film description

The Northern Land is an adaptation of a novel from 1987 by Agustina Bessa-Luís. Emília de Sousais is one of the greatest Portuguese actresses of the end of the 19th century. As a result of her marriage to a rich man from Madera, Gaspar de Barros, she becomes the baroness Madalena do Mar. Desperate and oppressed by the surrounding world, she resolves to create a mystery that would last for four generations, more than a century. Emilia de Sousa alias Sissi alias Rosalina alias Rosamund alias 'stinking grape' alias 'little goat' - all these roles of women who run from the world and from their gender, are boldly played by the beautiful Ana Moreira. The characters' dramatic stories intertwine and overlap (sometimes unnoticed by the viewer) growing around the cliffs of Corte do Norte, where the sullen family residence is located. Saturated colours, theatrical lighting and rich chiaroscuro make one think of 19th century paintings.

Wild hearts and anxious glances of the distant female ancestors survived generations. Will unravelling of the shameful though fascinating mystery of yore bring relief?

Agata Bratek

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