A young French actress playing a nun has a profound encounter with a real Portuguese nun during the shooting in Lisbon. An eccentric study of religious doubt steeped in the beauty of Lisbon and the sadness of fado.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
American-born French director Eugène Green follows his sublimely eccentric Le Pont des Arts (NZIFF05) with an equally intriguing and formally self-conscious study of another young artist in existential crisis. The new film is as transfixed as its heroine by Lisbon and the melancholy beauty of fado. — BG
“Strewn with long silences and even longer takes, this is a deadpan reverie on love and faith, film and life. Yet it’s also impishly poetic and singularly moving… In Lisbon to shoot De Guilleragues’ Letters of a Portuguese Nun, atheist actress Leonor Baldaque has an epiphany after encountering Sister Ana Moreira in a backstreet church. Some will bridle at Eugène Green’s highly stylised minimalism, the self-reflexive friskiness, the surfeit of literary and cinematic references and the extended fado interludes. But for all its idiosyncratic charm, this is a deceptively passionate and poignant picture.” — David Parkinson, The Guardian