DER Documentary

The Architect and the Old Village


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by Catarina Alves Costa, produced by Catarina Mourão
color, 70 min, 2003




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Álvaro Siza Vieira, a famous visionary Portuguese architect, is called to coordinate the rehabilitation of the monuments and architectonic heritage of Cidade Velha (Old Village) in Santiago, one of the African islands of Cape Verde. This project creates great expectations among the local population, who envisages it as a way of improving their quality of life. The film explores the relationship and the conflict between these two worlds, two cultures, with different ideas of what modernity and progress mean.

The film reflects with humor the idea that tradition is a new value of the modern era, the relationship between the people of Cidade Velha and the team and finally, the role of Siza who in his calm and timid manner, manages to understand and incorporate all conflicts and questions by planning, deciding, imagining and, above all, by drawing intensively.


Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
CORTO CIRCUITO, Italy, 2004
Audience Award, XI Caminhos do Cinema Português, Coimbra, Portugal, 2004
NAFA Film Festival, Tartu, Estonia, 2004
Göttingen International Film Festival, Göttingen, Germany, 2004
XVIII Parnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival, Parnu, Estonia, 2004
IV Festival of Visual Culture, Joensuu, Finland, 2004
XII International Festival of Ethnographical Film, Sardegna, Italy, 2004
Archfilm Festival – International Film Festival of Documentaries on Architecture, Kosice, Eslovakia, 2004
DOCLisboa – II Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival, Lisbon, Portugal, 2004
forumdoc.bh, VIII Festival of Documentary and Ethnographical film, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2004
24ème Bilan du Film Ethnographique - Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France, 2005
Infinity Festival, Alba, Italy, 2005
5th Ecocinema International Enviroment Film Festival, Athens, Greece, 2005
10th International Festival of Ethnographical Film, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 2005



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