Portugal | 2023 | 63 min
Languages : Portuguese, Russian
Subtitles : English, French
1979. Flicking through pictures from a Soviet magazine, 15-year-old Martim dreams of building a new society. His radical communist parents send him to study at Astrakan for one year. In her new film, Catarina Mourão captures with tremendous precision the moment a middle-aged man passes his story on to his son, thus shedding the taboo of his ineffable experience.
As a 15-year-old, Martim made a decision that would alter the course of his life after leafing through Soviet Life – a soviet version of the American magazine Life, to which his father was subscribed. On September 11th, 1979, armed with a scholarship and the blessing of his militant communist parents, he left Lisbon to study fishing techniques in Astrakhan, on the edge of the Caspian Sea. Once there, things took an unexpected turn, which has remained secret since - until Martim decides to confide in his own son, in front of Catarina Mourão’s camera (The Hissing of Summer Sands - VdR 2019). With a handful of photos and postcards sent to his family at the time, a young actor playing his ghostly twin in a few scenes, and a long confessional conversation filmed in a decrepit apartment that has been transformed into a site of remembrance, the Portuguese filmmaker captures with vibrant precision the moment in which a middle-aged man decides to relate a formative experience from his youth, and in doing so, finally let go of his burden.