Porto da minha infância

  • 61'
  • Portugal
  • 2001
When Oporto shared cultural capital of Europe status with Rotterdam in 2001, producer Paulo Branco asked the doyen of Portuguese cinema, Manoel de Oliveira, to make a film about his birthplace. Oliveira: 'A documentary about Oporto in 2001 was impossible, the city was being renovated on a grand scale. I thought I could maybe do it some time later. But this restriction was a positive influence, it gave me an opportunity to bring to life the Oporto of my childhood based on my own memories, the simplest memories that are closest to the city. I regard the film as a documentary, but to avoid it getting bogged down in a kind of photo album, I sometimes had to reconstruct things. What remains are memories of a kind of life and of images of a time longgone, that eventually do not form an autobiography, even though they do involve me.'Using historic film fragments, music and photos, a nostalgic image is made of a city that no longer exists. In addition, events from De Oliveira's childhood are played by actors. We see the young Manoel (performed by his own grandson) in the auditorium watching an opera about a girl and an old burglar. We become acquainted with his parents' bakery and with his first lover who died of TB. Oporto of My Childhood is a charming, erudite film, without the intellectual approach that usually characterises De Oliveira's films.
Manoel de Oliveira
Countries of production
Portugal, France
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2002
International title
Oporto of My Childhood
Mad Filmes, Gemini Films, Paulo Branco
Gemini Films
Leonor Silveira