french films > The Portuguese Nun

The Portuguese Nun

The Portuguese Nun

The Portuguese Nun

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Leonor Baldaque, Beatriz Batarda, Carloto Cotta

year: 2011

colour: yes

certificate: TBC

director: Eugène Green

runtime: 127

A precise yet mischievous exercise in poetic minimalism from award-winning French director Eugène Green, whose work over the last decade has won international acclaim but little in the way of UK distribution. This is a chance to catch up with a film that The Guardian placed top of their ‘best obscure films of 2009’, a film that sits firmly in the classic European arthouse tradition while displaying a unique and highly distinctive filmmaking voice.

Displaying Green’s distinctive minimalist style, the film follows a young French actress (Leonor Baldaque) who speaks her mother’s language, Portuguese, as she visits Lisbon for the first time. She is there to act in a film inspired by Guilleragues’ Letters of a Portuguese Nun. She is soon fascinated by a nun who comes to pray every night at the Nossa Senhora do Monte Chapel on Graça Hill. During her stay, the young woman has a number of encounters, which, much like her previous existence, seem ephemeral and without consequence. But one night, after finally speaking with the nun, she glimpses her destiny and the meaning of her life.

Special event
There will be a Q&A session with the director Eugène Green and film writer Peter Matthews after the 1.30pm screening on Saturday 22 January.

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