Only streets hidden away in the suburbs are named after him, Catarina Mourão notices about her grandfather, a Portuguese writer who’s almost been forgotten and who died before the filmmaker was born. She has hardly read any of his books. Not even The Wolf’s Lair, the best-known one. Who was this man, about whom her mother once heard such a terrible story that she never trusted him again? And why did he leave home years before?
In old film recordings, notes and stories from friends and relatives, the maker rediscovers a tragic family story, interwoven with the national tragedy of the right-wing dictatorship of the Estado Novo that had Portugal in its grip from 1933 to 1974. But it’s not only the outside world that troubles the family. Just as Sarah Polley showed in 2012 in Stories We Tell, there are also misunderstandings and warped memories which shape the story of families. That means you have to be careful cursing those close to you and shutting doors.