“Légua” or relic of a bygone thing

“Légua” or relic of a bygone thing

Filmmakers Night

There are strips that concentrate a lot of fortunes, we are reminded Ligua, Provincial Proceedings and Variations on the Subject of Acts and Days, is undoubtedly one of the most vivid finds in the Quinzaine des cinéastes. simple movie, no frills, Ligua Naturally bearing the name of the region in which it takes place, it is an ancient hamlet along the Tamega River, a tributary of the Douro, in northern Portugal.

This is the second feature film for a duo, Filipa Reis and Joao Miller Guerra, who are not exactly newbies as they already have solid documentary work to their credit. The former is also known for her activities as a producer, at the helm of Uma Pedra no Sapato (“pebble in the shoe”), a breeding ground for young Portuguese cinema who notably contributed to the latest feature film by Miguel Gomez and Maureen Fazendero, Tuoa Diary (2021).

Ligua It is set in the context of the following Portuguese rural realism Tras-os-Montes (1976), by Antonio Reis and Margarida Cordero, is a seminal work and cornerstone in the cinema of local auteurs, whose influence can still be felt today. Anna (Carla Maciel), a 49-year-old mother, works as a cleaning lady in the Grand Palace whose masters are particularly notable by their absence, after they abandoned the building for the big city. The devout old caretaker, Emilia (Fatima Soares), still keeps an eye on the property, making sure every day that her many endless maintenance tasks are done as they should be. Anna bows graciously to his commands, even giving him the affectionate diminutive of “Milinha”.

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Great accuracy

The two women keep the property afloat, the image of the almost feudal system that has survived thanks to them, as if it had become obsolete. But one day Melinha falls ill, and soon she goes into remission, and there is only Anna to take care of her. While her Freemason husband goes to work in France and her teenage daughter languishes, the housekeeper redoubles her efforts, combining day-to-day chores with nursing work. Step by step, you accompany the grandmother towards death.

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let us rest assured, Ligua By no means does the agony make a strong argument: one could conversely imagine a more considerate film, posing in its forbidding world a patient, never intrusive gaze. Filipa Reis and Joao Miller Guerra, both based on their documentary filmmaking experience, remain unwavering in their approach to reality.

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About the Author: Aldina Antunes

"Praticante de tv incurável. Estudioso da cultura pop. Pioneiro de viagens dedicado. Viciado em álcool. Jogador."

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