Motherly love in Blood of My Blood
by Juan Arteaga
In competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Portuguese director João Canijo (former assistant director to Manoel de Oliveira, Alain Tanner and Wim Wenders, among others) premiered his film Blood of My Blood [+see also:
film profile], a solid drama about a present-day Portuguese family centred on a strong woman, one of the recurrent themes running through several films in competition at the Basque festival. The film last night won TVE’s Otra Mirada Award, one of the festival’s unofficial prizes.
Set in an area on the edges of Lisbon, the film explores the different social and life relationships within a family nucleus that revolves around Marcia (Rita Blanco), a mother courage who is completely devoted to all the members of a family who are going through different crisis situations, social exclusion, loneliness and sordid relations that threaten to destroy them.
With impeccable visuals, the film stands out due to a directorial style full of sequence shots and shots which blend parallel scenes but with opposing themes, which at times recalls Jaime Rosales’ Solitary Fragments [+see also:
film profile]. Another noteworthy technical aspect is the use of ambient sound. Set during the South African World Cup, the radio and noise from cars and television is a constant feature in the film’s 2h15m runtime.
Blood of My Blood is part of a broader audiovisual work that includes a documentary, The Actor’s Work, which describes the process of composing the screenplay and characters, which the actors and Canijo worked on jointly over the course of two years thanks to the help of the producers. It will also serve as teaching material in film schools.
Before screening at San Sebastian, the film, produced by Pedro Borges for Midas Filmes, was presented at the Toronto. Its Portuguese release is scheduled for October 6.
(Translated from Spanish)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.