Expired September 11, 2020 3:45 AM
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A film of deeply concentrated beauty, acclaimed filmmaker Pedro CostaÕs Vitalina Varela stars nonprofessional actor Vitalina Varela in an extraordinary performance based on her own life. Vitalina plays a Cape Verdean woman who has travelled to Lisbon to reunite with her husband, after two decades of separation, only to arrive mere days after his funeral. Alone in a strange forbidding land, she perseveres and begins to establish a new life. Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film and Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival, as well as an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival, Vitalina Varela is a film of shadow and whisper, a profoundly moving and visually ravishing masterpiece.


“IT’S ESSENTIAL CINEMA. Socially conscious, but dreamlike, elegiac. Stunning pictorialism. In the opening shots of this film, one thinks of Goya and Velasquez; the clouds in the night sky evoke El Greco. Critic’s Pick.” — Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“Spectacular images, ideas, emotions, and performances. Costa endows the tale with a pictorial majesty. Several glorious outdoor sequences… have the visionary rapture of scenes by John Ford.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Every scene is a composition, an exquisite stage set, mysterious and shadowy… Ms. Varela’s face is as expressive as a silent-film star’s… Vitalina Varela is demanding, rewarding and ineffably stirring.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

  • Year
  • Runtime
    124 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Pedro Costa
  • Filmmaker
    Pedro Costa
  • Cast
    Vitalina Varela