Premier Latinoamericana

  • Official Dramatic

Portugal / 2016 / 105 / Digital

  • Director 

    Ivo Ferreira

  • Producer: 

    Sandro Aguilar, Luís Urbano


    Ivo Ferreira, Edgar Medina, António Lobo Antunes (cartas)

  • Photography: 

    João Ribeiro

  • Cast: 

    Miguel Nunes, Margarida Vila-Nova



Word and image go hand-in-hand in this adaptation of the letters a very young Portuguese doctor sends home to his wife from the frontline during the Angolan War of Independence (1961-1974). Budding writer António Lobo gradually becomes aware of the weight of his country’s colonial history, which, together with a heightened sense of romanticism defines the film’s emotional texture. Stunning black and white photography and the repeated use of the letter-reading recourse lend Cartas da Guerra an aura of melancholy—that untranslatable saudade of parted lovers, accentuated by the absurdity of imperial war or simply a lack of creative inspiration brought on by the overwhelming guilt and loneliness the protagonist feels. Aesthetically, a comparison with the films of Miguel Gomes is inevitable, especially Tabú, with which it not only shares themes and narrative recourses but producers. Yet Cartas da guerra, which premiered at the Official Competition of the recent Berlin Film Festival, is essentially about a present, a here and now that cannot be understood without looking back over our shoulders at the road already traveled.



Ivo Ferreira

Ivo Ferreira

Director and screenwriter Ivo Ferreira was born in Lisbon. He directed the short films Na Escama do Dragão (2012) and O Estrangeiro (2010), and the feature films Em Volta (2002), Águas Mil (2009) and Cartas da Guerra (2016), which was selected for the Official Competition of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.