Seventeen-year-old Vicente lives on the outskirts of Lisbon with his ten-year-old brother, Nino, and their ailing father in a dilapidated house. The memory of their mother has faded, and they share a deep connection with their father, despite his occasional temper and frequent disappearances. One day, their father departs for good, and Vicente and Nino make a solemn pact to conceal his absence, guarding it as their closely-held secret. Comparing Costa’s cinema to the likes of Carl Dreyer, Adrian Martin writes: “From the very first moments of his debut feature Blood, Costa forces us to see something new and singular in cinema, rather than something generic and familiar. The black-and-white cinematography (...) pushes far beyond a fashionable effect of high contrast, and into something visionary: whites that burn, blacks that devour”.

  • Duration: 95’
  • Production year: 1989
  • Country: PT
  • Language: PT Subtitles: EN
  • Venice Film Festival 1989 – Critics’ Week

Pedro Costa