Directed by António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro. With Ana Maria Martins Guerra, Manuel Ramalho Eanes, Octávio Lixa Filgueiras
Portugal 1985, 35mm, color, 114 min. Portuguese with English subtitles
More than a decade after their first feature, Reis and Cordeiro returned once more to the Trás-os-Montes region, using the breathtaking landscape as the evocative setting for an intergenerational portrait of family as a variation of the poetically non-linear time explored in their earlier film. Ripe with floating symbols of the ancient and modern world, Ana is a meditation on history and human civilization and the infinitesimally small but profound role of the individual within the larger movement of longue durée. The film’s minimal and Rilke-inspired dialogue reveals Reis and Cordeiro’s interest in a deeper, non-verbal mode of communication, not only between generations but also between the land and those passing through it. At the center of the sweeping cycle of life described by Ana is the haunting figure of Cordeiro’s own mother, cast as an aging matriarch whose intimacy with her children, grandchildren and with the windswept landscapes around her is tinged with the melancholy of her imminent, final departure.