In the early sixties in Portugal, a group of cultural, social and economical circumstances helped and made possible the creation of a new film movement that would be later named as “o novo cinema português” (“the new Portuguese cinema”). In the centre of this whirlwind were two films that are crucial for the Portuguese film history: “The Green Years” and “Change One’s Life”, both directed by Paulo Rocha. They both are unique films in Rocha’s film career, on the grounds that they show the specific realities of Portuguese society on that decade: the contradiction between a rural and cosmopolitan Lisbon, in the first film; the difficult conditions in which the fishermen community of Furadouro lived, in the second. They are also films with some particularities, like the luminous presence of Isabel Ruth – here on the beginning of her acting career – or the melancholic guitar of Carlos Paredes.
In the small retrospective dedicated to this director from Porto, we will screen in the Small Auditorium of Teatro Rivoli these two defining films in restored copies, allowing a new and renewed encounter with two fundamental films for the youngest generations of film lovers that didn’t have the opportunity to see them on the movie screen. It will be also the moment to screen his last film, “If I Were a Thief, I’d Steal”, which was never screened in Porto, a film that consists on the director’s familiar and most loved memories, in which some old stories about his films are unravelled, which are in dialogue with a curious story about a small Portuguese village.
To give us some enlightenment about the importance of Paulo Rocha in Portuguese film history, this retrospective will include a debate with experts on the works of Rocha: Rodrigo Areias, António Preto, Regina Guimarães and Eduardo Paz Barroso.
May 26 – The Green Years
May 27 – Change One's Life
May 28 – If I Were a Thief, I'd Steal