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Foreign Land

Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas
Terra estrangeira
Brasil, null 1995 / 100’

Set against the sad and realistic background of economic policy and its consequences, Terra estrangeira follows the trajectory of Paco, a young man in his early twenties, the son of a Spanish émigré. It also tells the story of Alex, a young Brazilian woman, an economic émigré living in Lisbon. Jumping back and forth between their stories in São Paulo and in Lisbon, the film shows the deepening of their personal crisis until their destinies finally converge in a desperate attempt to find happiness in the possibility of love and in spite of all the dramatic events that have brought them together.

IFF Thessaloniki 2006

Recent political history in Brazil, expatriation, timeless human frailty and the inevitability of fate - captured in the melancholy music of the Portuguese fado - color Foreign Land, a small, taut drama. Cutting between São Paulo and Lisbon at its outset, this efficient, neatly acted black-and-white film, directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, interweaves the stories of Paco (Fernando Alves Pinto) and Alex (Fernanda Torres). Although the politics that impelled many young people to leave Brazil underlies Foreign Land, the screenplay, by the directors and Marcos Bernstein, never belabors its condemnation. Plot and well-drawn characters propel the action, and in so doing, render a portrait of wasted lives and senseless loss.

Lawrence van Gelder, New York Times


Daniela Thomas was born in Rio de Janerio in 1959. She mostly works with Walter Salles as a director, screenwriter and production designer.

Selected filmography:

1996 Obca ziemia / Terra estrangeira / Foreign Land (współreż. / co-dir.)

1999 Północ / O primeiro dia (współreż. / co-dir.)

2006 Zakochany Paryż / Paris, je t'aime (współreż. / co-dir.)

2008 Linha de Passe (współreż. / co-dir.)

Walter Salles

He was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1954. His work centers around the theme of exile and the search for identity. His first feature film, Foreign Land, holds a crucial place in the renaissance of Brazilian cinema, winning seven international awards and screening at over thirty film festivals. Salles won worldwide acclaim with his features, Central Station (1998) and The Motorcycle Diaries (2004).

Selected filmography:

2004 Dzienniki motocyklowe / Diarios de Motocicleta / The Motorcycle Diaries

2005 Dark Water - Fatum / Dark Water

2006 Zakochany Paryż / Paris, je t'aime (współreż. / co-dir.)

2008 Linha de Passe (współreż. / co-dir.)