International Competition – Cutting Edge

A Metamorfose dos Pássaros

The Metamorphosis of Birds

Catarina Vasconcelos

Portugal 2020. 101 Min.
Color. DCP. P/e

A film like a still life – no, like an entire art gallery. Every shot is a work of art, every moment is an eternity. The film tells the story of the sailor Henrique and his wife Beatriz, who, separated by the sea and united in thought, share a life that gives rise to six children and – at least in retrospect – seems perfect. We hear the voices of those left behind, who give us a posthumous insight into the relationship, the past and a world that is deeply shaped by the supernatural power and beauty of nature as well as by far too premature death – both that of Beatriz, but also that of the wife of her eldest son Jacinto, the director's mother.


In her feature debut, the Portuguese director Catarina Vasconcelos lets the love of her grandparents come to life again with the help of her father – albeit without betraying them. In fine, almost magical arrangements from the intersection between documentary and fiction, philosophy and poetry, an intimate portrait arises of a family between then and now, between memory and sadness, reality and fantasy, whose virtuosity can not be fully explained, but only marvelled at with open eyes. (pj)


DirectorCatarina Vasconcelos
ScreenplayCatarina Vasconcelos
CinematographyPaulo Menezes
EditingFrancisco Moreira
MusicMadalena Palmeirim
WithManuel Rosa, João Móra, Ana Vasconcelos
ProducersPedro Fernandes Duarte, Joana Gusmão, Catarina Vasconcelos
DistributionPortugal Film, Lissabon,

Catarina Vasconcelos