João Canijo

Portugal, France 2017. 153 Min.
Color. DCP. P/e

Eleven women are walking along the highway. The pace is fast, and the goal is ambitious: they want to cover 430 kilometres in nine days on their way from Vinhais in northern Portugal to the centrally located Fátima, the famous Catholic pilgrimage site, where the mother of God is said to have appeared before three shepherd children. In other words, they are on a pilgrimage – hampered by heavy traffic, recurring rain, flaring arguments, bleeding blisters, inflamed joints, muscle cramps, exhaustion, circulatory collapse and nervous breakdowns. No wonder that they don’t spend much time praying, and the contemplative-meditative mood of introspection, which is commonly associated with a pilgrimage, remains elusive.


On the spectrum of Portuguese cinema, which is well known for its penchant for poetry and metaphorical richness, the work of João Canijo, who was born in Porto in 1957, represents the more sober end of quasi-documentary realism. He sent his actresses to actually undertake the pilgrimage themselves and worked with them on the screenplay, based on their notes and experiences. The result is as entertaining as the pilgrimage is long. (as)


DirectorJoão Canijo
ScreenplayJoão Canijo
CinematographyMário Castanheira
EditingJoão Braz, Elsa Ferreira
WithAnabela Moreira, Rita Blanco, Teresa Tavares, Sara Norte
ProducersPedro Borges, François d’Artemare