Tonight20:25 - 21:55The Valley of Love (Spain)

Portrait - Carlos Ruiz Carmona - Portugal





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Interview with Mario Ruiz Carmona

Portrait (Retrato, 2004)

Director: Carlos Ruiz Carmona
Cast: Rafael Ruiz Guillén, Ana Carmona


It's common to think about how past generations used to live without the commodities we enjoy nowadays, but few dare to discover those times and share them with the world. Plunge into the Spain of the past with a moving documentary about a generation which struggled to pave their way for their descendents in Portrait.

Directed by Carlos Ruiz Carmona, Portrait depicts the entire generation of his parents, having them as the protagonists of this poignant story. Framed in the post-war generation, the documentary depicts a "married-til-death" couple.

The director manages to construct a cathartic telling in which his parents pose absolutely motionless and often alone. The images, almost still black and white pictures with warm and poignant voices telling their story, reveal the lives of thousands of Spanish families formed by couples like the one on the film.

Winner of the Best Spanish Documentary Award at the Documental Madrid Festival 2006, Portrait reflects on one's aspirations in life and motivates the viewers to accomplish their dreams instead of being stuck in a destructive wishing spiral. With a message which can be related to Paulo Cohelo's Veronika Decides to Die, this documentary promises to wake some sleeping souls into enjoying a new and sparkling life.


Family photographs, memories, landscapes and scenes from the everyday life constitute the portrait of an attitude and a way of life. The portrait of a generation where marriage and a time of misery and oppression were marked by the inheritance of the Spanish Civil War.

The portrait of man and woman, father, mother and son, their worries, dreams, disappointments, experiences and feelings gather here. The portrait of identity, origin, memory and a life like a puzzle to solve open up. It is sometimes a confusing portrait, almost blurred, like memories.

A portrait where facial expressions question the past, present and future, on the debate of life itself. We go round and round again but questions remain: who are we and why are we like this?

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