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Pedro Costa
O Sangue
Portugal 1989 / 95’
Casa de Lava

In the dark of night, children all over the world are having the same nightmare about being abandoned. Do whatever you want with me, they say, just don't leave me ...  Tangled bloodlines, the unbearable burden of being. Just why exactly do we need parents? When there is no other evidence, they are the only ones who can testify to the fact that we have entered the world at all, that we even exist. In Pedro Costa's debut, two brothers-the elder Vicente (Pedro Hestnes) and the younger Nino (Nuno Ferreira)-try with the help of their friend Clara (Inês de Medeiros) to survive what seems like the permanent loss of their father. Harassed by his creditors and an uncle who wants to adopt Nino, they try to think through his disappearance, the loss of their own beginning. The black-and-white Blood is a poetic film filled with references to cinematic history, a tribute to film classics. It is a film phantom, Costa has said repeatedly, born not of reality but of cinema. The role of Nino is played by Nuno Ferreira, who was discovered in an orphanage and became Costa's first amateur actor. In the untamed boy, who had been knocked around by life and was difficult to manage on set, the director saw his "dream child," himself from the past.

Agnieszka Szeffel

Pedro Costa

Born in Lisbon (1959), he left his course of studies in History to attend classes taught by the poet and filmmaker António Reis at the Lisbon Film School. His first film Blood (O Sangue) had its world premiere at the Mostra Cinematografica di Venezia in 1989. Casa de Lava, his second feature, shot in Cabo Verde, was shown in Cannes, in 1994. Some of his other feature films include Bones (Ossos), In Vanda's Room (No Quarto da Vanda) and Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (Où gît votre sourire enfoui?) on the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. He directed Sweet Exorcist, a segment of the omnibus feature Centro Histórico, with Manoel de Oliveira, Aki Kaurismäki and Víctor Erice. His work has been presented in galeries and museums around the world. Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro) was awarded the Leopard for best direction at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2014.


1987 Cartas a Julia (short)

1990 Krew / O Sangue / Blood

1994 Dom z lawy / Casa de Lava / Down to Earth

1997 Kości / Ossos / Bones

2000 W pokoju Wandy / No Quarto da Vanda / In Vanda's Room

2001 Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub, cinéastes (odcinek Cinéastes, de notre temps, TV serie)

2002 Gdzie spoczywa twój uśmiech? / Onde Jaz o Teu Sorriso? / Où gît votre sourire enfoui? / Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?

2003 6 bagatelas (short)

2006 Pochód młodości / Juventude Em Marcha / Colossal Youth

2007 Tarrafal (short in O Estado do Mundo / The State of the World)

2007 Łowcy królików / The Rabbit Hunters (short in Memories, Jeonju Digital Project)

2009 Ne change rien

2010 O Nosso Homem / Our Man (short)

2012 Słodki egzorcysta / Sweet Exorcist / Lamento da Vida Jovem (short in Centro Histórico)

2014 Koń Forsa / Cavalo Dinheiro / Horse Money

2018 Vitalina Varela

Cast & Crew

director Pedro Costa
screenplay Pedro Costa
cinematography Martin Schäfer 
editing Manuela Viegas
music António Pinho Vargas
cast Pedro Hestnes, Nuno Ferreira, Inês de Medeiros, Luis Miguel Cintra, Canto e Castro, Isabel de Castro, Ana Otero, Manuel João Vieira, Miguel Fernandes, Henrique Viana, Luís Santos, José Eduardo, Pedro Miguel
producer Victor Gonçalves
production Trópico Filmes
sales Pedro Costa
language Portuguese
colouration b&w