Teresa Villaverde

Portugal, France | 2017 | 132 min

Portuguese | Subtitles : EN, FR, DE, ES, IT

From 1 - 17 december 2017

Screen Daily

Original and intriguingly resonant family drama.

Berlinale - Official Competition
Seville European Film Festival


In Portugal, a father, a mother and a daughter’s daily lives are being subsumed by the effects of the economic crisis. This is a process which begins to influence their life together by degrees while their nicely furnished high-rise flat continues to tell a tale of different, bygone times. The unemployed father spends his days on the roof gazing at the horizon which no longer offers him a future. The mother returns home exhausted from working double shifts. Their adolescent daughter keeps her secrets to herself and wonders if there is enough money to pay her bus fare to school. Each time, the camera takes a step back – wide shots being preferred – in order to capture the mood. And yet what we are observing is not stasis but a tentative forward motion. The family members begin to shed their previous roles, their relationship to each other changes and unexpected possibilities start to reveal themselves. It may not be apparent to either father, mother or daughter but each of them has long since begun to take their lives in their own hands and to reshape them.

  • Starring: João Pedro Vaz, Alice Albergaria Borges, Beatriz Batarda, Clara Jost, Tomás Gomes, Dinis Gomes, Ricardo Aibéo, Simone de Oliveira, Rita Blanco
  • Production: Alce Filmes/International Sales: Films Boutique

The story of a collapsing Portuguese family gravely hit by the economic crisis. The antipode of a certain realist and social cinema, Teresa Villaverde, a filmmaker as rare as precious, signs a nocturnal and poetic film of an impressive formal beauty. Colo is a tale of war and survival, a dark piece that leaves a long-lasting impression.

Olivier Père

Teresa Villaverde

Teresa Villaverde

Cinema can be very brutal for the author, because it asks for such extremely different periods. When you write, you’re alone. Then you seduce people with your project, which is difficult. You deal with so many people when you shoot, and then go back to loneliness, when you rewrite the film, in a way, while editing. It’s not easy to be always centred.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1966, she began her career as an actress, co-writer and co-director at the theatre of the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon. She appeared as an actress in HOVERING OVER THE WATER (dir. João César Monteiro), worked as an assistant to Paulo Rocha and as a co-writer with José Álvaro Morais and João Canijo. Since the 1990s she has directed her own films including THE MAJOR AGE which screened at the Berlinale in 1991. She made her international breakthrough in 1998 with THE MUTANTS. In 2010 she founded her own production company Alce Filmes.