Pedro Costa Festival dei Popoli

Tribute to Pedro Costa

Pedro Costa, Portuguese director Pardo d'oro at Locarno in 2019 with the film "Vitalina Varela," will be dedicated a tribute in the 64th edition of the Festival dei Popoli, the international documentary film festival, scheduled in Florence Nov. 4-12. The event - chaired by Vittorio Iervese, under the artistic direction of Alessandro Stellino and the organizational direction of Claudia Maci - presents the best of world documentary cinema in a program accompanied by numerous international and national guests.

Pedro Costa, Portuguese born in 1959, who will hold a masterclass open to the festival audience, is one of the leading directors of contemporary auteur cinema. With his unique style, characterized by dry plots and a documentary gaze, he describes with acuity and profound humanity scenarios of social and urban decay peculiar to the Fontainhas neighbourhood, a dilapidated suburb of Lisbon whose population he chronicles. And he does so with tones that are mystical and mysterious, sorrowful and rigorous.

With her latest film "Vitalina Varela" (2019), she won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. Vitalina, the name of the actress and main character, a 55-year-old woman from Cape Verde, returns to Portugal to try to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. Also, a Cape Verdean, Ventura, a retired labourer, is at the centre of her penultimate film, "Cavalho Dinheiro," Silver Leopard at Locarno in 2014: the story of an immigrant on the outskirts of Lisbon in the moments just after the Carnation Revolution that toppled Salazar's dictatorship. Costa's beginnings, after studying history at the University of Lisbon, came through courses at the Escola Superior de Teatro and Cinema. He made his first feature film in 1989, "O Sangue," which was followed by "Casa de Lava" (1995), "Ossos" (1997), the seminal "No Quarto da Vanda" (2000) and "Juventude em marcha" (2006), groundbreaking works in the context of art cinema at the turn of his century.

"Pedro Costa is one of the most relevant filmmakers of the last three decades, an indispensable author of contemporary cinema"- explained Festival dei Popoli artistic director Alessandro Stellino - with his works strongly rooted in reality and at the same time highly imaginative, he has been able to combine the concept of classicism proper to the great silent filmmakers and those we might call 'sculptors of the frame,' such as Dreyer, Ford or Mizogouchi to a darkly pictorial vision of the fate of the last, the protagonists in the first person of his films. The rigorous consistency of his work and the profound humanism of his approach have made him a filmmaker of reference for all those who believe in the possibility of another cinema, courageous and mature, far from the artifices of spectacularity but capable of speaking directly to the soul and heart of all."

The retrospective is organized with the support of the Embassy of Portugal in Rome and the Camões, I.P.

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