DocLisboa cinema festival to feature biographies, portraits


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The DocLisboa festival unveiled on Wednesday, features various portraits and life stories, from writer Margarida Tengarrinha to composer Wang Xilin, from film-maker Agnès Varda to director Luís Miguel Cintra, which are glimpses of the past and records of contemporaneity.

The 21st edition of the DocLisboa festival is scheduled to take place from 19 to 29 October, and the full programme was revealed today after several highlights had been announced in recent weeks.

The Portuguese competition features nine films, most of them world premieres, including “Clandestina”, a documentary by Maria Mire about the writer, teacher and anti-fascist resistance fighter Margarida Tengarrinha, and “Fogo no Lodo” by Catarina Laranjeiro and Daniel Barroca, about Unal, “a village of rice farmers who were the first to get involved in the armed revolt against Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau”.

The extensive programme includes other documentary portraits, such as “Verdade ou consequência?” by Sofia Marques, about director Luís Miguel Cintra, “Ospina Cali Colombia” by Jorge de Carvalho, which recalls a meeting with filmmaker Luis Ospina in Lisbon, and “Big Bang Henda” by Fernanda Polacow, about Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda.

The festival had previously announced a retrospective on cinema produced in the United States in the 1930s, during the years of recovery from the “great depression” in the American economy.

It is a portrait of a time when “an alliance of radical filmmakers fought to create a new genre of social documentary”, with films by directors such as Joris Ivens, Paul Strand, Pare Lorentz and Elia Kazan, explains the organisation.

DocLisboa will also feature, among others, “Theater of Thought” by Werner Herzog, “Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros” by Frederick Wiseman, “Portrait of Gina”, a pilot film by Orson Welles about actress Gina Lollobrigida, and “Viva Varda!”, by Pierre-Henri Gibert, about Belgian director Agnès Varda.

Another highlight was the Portuguese-Brazilian film “Diário de um crime” by Pavel Tavares: “What is a documentary (a document about reality) to someone without documents? The film shouts out the absurdity of bureaucracy,” says the synopsis.

Among the festival’s parallel activities is a debate on new perspectives for co-production between Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking African countries.

DocLisboa will open with the film “Man in Black”, by Wang Bing, about the 86-year-old Chinese composer and dissident Wang Xilin, who has been invited to Lisbon.

The 21st edition of DocLisboa will close with “Baan”, the first feature-length fiction film by Leonor Teles.

The entire programme will be available at

Iris Lavan
Iris Lavan
With a background as a consultant in the medical industry, Iris Lavan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Portugal Pulse. Iris also runs a company in Tel Aviv offering marketing, business development, content creation and public relations services. She holds a degree in economics and management, giving her a solid grounding in business strategy and financial planning. Iris' commitment to Portugal Pulse is reflected not only in her consulting career, but also in her impact on the Portugale media landscape in Israel. She was an interviewer for Hadshot Portugal חדשות פורטוגל, a media outlet that broadcasts news about Portugal in Hebrew, where she provided valuable information on current affairs, healthcare and the economy. Since July 2023, Iris has also been part of the Portugal Pulse team.

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