Henrique is a terse Portuguese smallholder who lives out in the hills, far from civilisation. We realise something is wrong in his life when occasional passers-by ask if there is any news about his daughters. The next day, he drives to a nearby village, follows someone and does something terrible. He then flees back to the hills. The almost entirely dialogue-free second half of the film focuses on Henrique as he hides out. We occasionally hear voices, or a helicopter swoops overhead. In the end, he returns to the village.

Ico Costa explicitly uses an elliptic narrative structure, to allow viewers to form a man from the clay he puts in front of them. Who is Henrique? Can his deed be understood? Is he telling the truth when he says he didn’t want to hurt anyone? In the meantime, almost incidentally, the stunning beauty of the landscape passes by. Henrique washes himself in the waters of a river – a river called Alva.

Filmmaker
Ico Costa
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Portugal, France, Argentina
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
98’
Language
Portuguese
Producer
João Matos, Jerome Blesson, Jerónimo Quevedo, Ico Costa
Production Company
Terratreme Filmes, La Belle Affaire Productions, Un puma
Sales
Terratreme Filmes
Writer
Ico Costa
Cinematography
Hugo Azevedo
Editor
Francisco Moreira, Ana Godoy
Sound Design
David Badalo
Cast
Henrique Bonacho, Pedro Figueiredo, Luis Anteiro, Ana Mota