Four by Pedro Costa

Four by Pedro Costa

An artist whose intimately collaborative DIY practice puts him well outside the traditional industrial filmmaking model, Costa has been dedicated to telling stories of the have-nots his native Portugal, describing their lives in luminous images that explore both his subjects’ obvious material poverty and secret spiritual resilience. This quartet of films tracks the development of Costa’s tenderly austere style from the majestic monochrome of his shot-on-film debut O Sangue to his later experiments with digital cinematography, including the rich tenebrism of Vitalina Varela.

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Four by Pedro Costa
  • O Sangue

    Directed by Pedro Costa | 95 mins | 1989
    Shot when he was 29, Costa’s first feature is a story of two brothers forced to go on the lam after their father’s death. Shot in shimmering black and white, and developing an air of sumptuous fairy-tale enchantment, it stands alone in his oeuvre, worlds a...

  • Casa de Lava

    Directed by Pedro Costa | 105 mins | 1994
    Marking the beginning of Costa’s long artistic engagement with and commitment to his country’s Cape Verdean émigré community, Casa de Lava follows a Portuguese nurse and the comatose migrant worker (Isaach de Bankolé) that she’s volunteered to accompany t...

  • Vitalina Varela

    Directed by Pedro Costa | 124 mins | 2019
    Returning once again to the immigrant communities of Lisbon’s Fontainhas neighborhood, Costa’s solemn and sumptuous Vitalina Varela gives centerstage to the eponymous subject, a Cape Verdean woman who arrives in Portugal for the funeral of the husband she...

  • Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?

    Directed by Pedro Costa | 104 mins | 2001
    Costa’s tribute to two figures who have exercised a profound influence on his own work, the fiercely independent Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, observes the duo in the process of revising their film Sicilia! with the students at the French art sch...