Volta a terra
by João Pedro Plácido
Portugal, Switzerland, France, 2014, 78'
Original version Portuguese, with French subtitles
International premiere at Visions du Réel 2015
In the north of Portugal, the rural world is disappearing. The difficult living conditions, as well as the hope of a better existence, are inciting the inhabitants to abandon their houses and their lands, to emigrate to cities or abroad. A few communities continue to resist, where there is still transmission between generations. For the young people, returning to the land will now mean addressing the country way of living in a less conservative manner, being more open to the world. Around these components is woven the story of the 49 inhabitants-men and women, young and old-of an isolated hamlet, as they face the difficulty of work, the weight of the past and the uncertainty of the future. The life of the characters takes form before our eyes, throughout the four seasons, taking very delicately into account a way of collective functioning that is still possible. A first film that is remarkably shot and edited, Volta a terra is a representation of the world that avoids folklore, falling between snippets of nostalgia and irresistible moments of drama.