Corvo Island, according to Gonzalo Tocha
by Vitor Pinto
28/03/2012 - In 2011, the Portuguese public was much more entralled by its country’s documentaries - Complexo: Parallel Universe by Mário Patrocinio, City of the Dead by Sergio Trufaut, and 48 by Susana Sousa Dias - than by most of its features released in cinemas. And here’s to hoping it continues! Tomorrow, Portugal’s first 2012 documentary, It's the Earth Not the Moon by Gonçalo Tocha, will be released in cinemas.
The film features Tocha, a filmmaker as well as a singer, returning to the Azores archipelago, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where he had already filmed his first feature-length documentary Balaou, a sort of personal catarsis, in 2006. The film was never released in Portuguese cinemas despite receiving awards at the IndieLisboa in 2007.
Filmed over the course of 2007, 2008, and 2011, It's the Earth Not the Moon is the result of 180 hours of footage edited down to 180 minutes. The film is divided up into 15 chapters, and is a mixture of a personal diary and documentary telling the story of the director and his sound assistant Didio Pestana as they explore the tiny Corvo Island, meeting some of its 450 inhabitants and filming its exuberant nature.
It's the Earth Not the Moon received a special mention at the 2011 Locarno Film Festival and an award at the last DocLisboa. After being distributed in Portugal by Alambique, the film will continue on its tour of festivals through Brasil (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro film festivals), Argentina (BAFICI), the United States (San Francisco International Film Festival), South Korea (Jeonju International Film Festival), and Spain (Documenta Madrid).