The Hissing of Summer Sands (Portugal)

The Hissing of Summer Sands

O Mar Enrola na Areia

  • Catarina Mourão


 Film newsreels show a mixed crowd enjoying seaside fun. Every summer however, a man appears on the beaches. Meticulously dressed, announcing himself with a blast on a whistle. He is the Stranger. A worrying or familiar figure, who makes children run away or attracts them like the Pied-Piper of Hamelin. This fairy-tale character is like a screen for people to project their ideas. His story changes from one version to the next: we do not know if he is crazy after losing his daughter, if he is a tramp living on the generosity of rich families, a paedophile, or a “summer Father Christmas”. Catarina Mourão found some pictures that testify to the existence of this “man with the whistle”. Using the codes of silent film—sheets of cardboard in the sand that a hand rifles through—the filmmaker investigates this myth by editing together extracts from amateur films, with sound and under-mixed, like a soft and ambiguous echo of a dark period that still blossoms in minds and is embodied in this silhouette from the Portuguese coast during the time of Salazar. 

Emmanuel Chicon

Length:  15'
Country:  Portugal
Year:  2019
Language(s):  Portuguese, English
Premiere status at VdR:  World Premiere
VdR edition:  2019


Catarina Mourão

Sales Contact

Filipa Henriques


Language(s):  Portuguese, English
Subtitles:  English, French
  • Monday 8 April 2019
  • 18:30

Followed by a discussion

  • Tuesday 9 April 2019
  • 10:15