O Mar Enrola na Areia
Portugal, 15 min
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.