16 de janeiro de 2015

cantai cantigas / sing songs

Trás-os-montes, a poor region in the north of Portugal.
2 trips, one on the summer, another on the winter time, searching for people and songs.
Bruno, 8 years-old ‘sings with the tapes’.
Deolinda ‘walks with the cows’ and show us the village cemetery that ‘has a lot to see’. Ti Ana, 90 years-old, sings songs by the fire with the neighbors who ask her to ‘sing another one’. Oral tradition songs, learned from her mother and grand-mother, sang in ‘mirandes’ a local dialect. The songs tell us tragic stories that might remind one of Shakespeare.
I shot this documentary in 1999 but just finished it in 2006. I always thought I would go back there one day. What I shot in 1999 I thought would be the first step in my research, not the entire film, but I never went back there. It is a project that I was dedicated to, so I decided to look at the footage I had with an open mind, trying not to think about what I wanted to do by then, but just watch what was actually in the images.
I was surprised how things made sense. My affection for the persons I was shooting with and the respect I felt for those were in the images and it already had an inner flow. This was the first time I felt my images were so clear, sharp, with everything right inside. And I could listen to those songs forever… there’s something primal and essential in them, in the way people live and relate with the landscape, the Nature, the fire…

João Castro - Corridinho de alvor