Directed by Bernardo Lopes

Fiction, Portugal, 14’ (2020)


Confronted with his mother’s infidelity and his father’s emotional absence, João arrives at a sunset where he refuses to return home.

Director’s Statement

Moço, a word widely used in the southern vernacular to characterize someone living an inexperienced and reckless youth, is a rural coming of age that tells the story of Joào, a boy who lives the peak of this adolescence in an unstable family.

The drama takes place in a village in the Algarve.

The need to choose this environment came from the fascination I always had for the culture and architecture of these marginalized and deserted areas in the south of the country.

During 18 years that I grew up in the Algarve, I frequented and lived in many of these places, having created a very close relationship with everything that characterizes and differentiates it, being it the orange and warm way in which the sun illuminates them, for the fauna and the flora that circumscribes them or, simply, the emotional proximity between the peasants that live there.

Having this universe as the starting point for my concept, I set out to make a personal film, not offering answers, but reflecting on the questions that plagued me as a teenager.
Narratively, my premise was to follow up on the theme I explored in my previous films. IVAN (2017) and EVA (2019)

Inspired by the internal and external conflicts of adolescence, in the Portuguese socio-cultural and political context, I filmed a main character who has an unforgettable and universal revelation on this day- he will no longer see his mother and father as perfects figures.

However, he will have the ability to override his moral values and human empathy with the negative stimuli with which he can relate.

In formal terms, I wanted to approach the aesthetics of the film in a coherent way, maintaining a language similar to the one I have been exploring, always with the ambition to create and evolve natural light and shadows, in framing and composition.

The film lives of the realism with which the narrative was constructed.

It privileges real time, breaths, looks and silence.

I wanted to formally create the symmetry of the characters imbalance, giving special emphasis to the lines of composition and real time, in the fixed framings, and a care in choreography, movements and travelings, with a rhythmic elliptic montage, always trying to portray in the most sincere way each person’s inner conflict possible.

Maximum importance was given to the sound and image off-screen elements, in order to intensify and dramatize te relationship with what surrounds our main character.

In conclusion, it’s a film about memories. Memories from when I was no longer a child, but also not yet an adult.

It is about homesickness. From the place where I grew up. From the place where I laughed and cried, ran away and came back. From when I was a Moço.