Premiere. Vitalina Varela


From 02 October 2020




Garage Screen summer cinema
Premiere. Vitalina VarelaPremiere. Vitalina Varela


Twenty-five years ago, Vitalina Varela's husband ran off to make money in Portugal and left her alone in a former Portuguese colony, the island of Cape Verde. In 2013, Vitalina arrives in Lisbon looking for him, only to find out that he had died three days earlier. The bleak otherworldly drama by Pedro Costa received a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 2019.

In the thirty years of his career in film, Costa has developed his own language and filming method that he brought to perfection in the semi-documentary trilogy about the impoverished and now demolished shantytown of Fontaínhas, which included Ossos (1997), In Vanda's Room (2000), and Colossal Youth (2006). The trilogy centered on the heroin addict Vanda Duarte and other shantytown characters was based on stories of real people, which Costa mixed with fictional elements. Improvisation and collaborations with non-professional actors who played fictionalized versions of themselves created a socially engaged cinema that transformed its actors, as well as the filmmaker himself and the audiences.

Like the Fontaínhas trilogy, Vitalina Varela is not a readymade work but a lived process. Rejecting an anthropological stance that implies a certain distancing of the author from the protagonist, Costa mourns and heals with Vitalina: the visuals inspired by the Dutch Golden Age make a tediously yet fascinatingly slow transition from shadows and exquisite chiaroscuro to bright sunlight. Costa's Rembrandt-esque portrayal of the Lisbon shantytowns could be mistaken for an anesthetization of poverty had he and the cinematographer Leonardo Simões not imbued Vitalina's character with such dignity.

The film is in Cape Verdean Creole with Russian subtitles.

Vitalina Varela
Director: Pedro Costa
Portugal, 2019. 124 min. 16+


Standard: 350 rubles
Student: 250 rubles*


Tickets for seniors, veterans, large families, under 18s, and visitors with disabilities (with one carer): 175 RUB**

We recommend that you buy tickets in advance. All ticket categories are available online.

* Students aged 18–25 on production of relevant ID
** Please show proof of eligibility at the cinema entrance