Vitalina Varela film still

Vitalina Varela


After waiting 25 years for a plane ticket to join her husband in Lisbon, Cape Verde native Vitalina finally arrives in Lisbon upon the news of her spouse’s death, and she has just missed his funeral. Winner of the Locarno Film Festival, this quietly observed masterwork follows Vitalina as she comes to terms with the circumstances of her husband’s life and her own grief. Arresting mise-en-scène marked by dramatic chiaroscuro lighting reveals the dignity and pain of immigrants living on the margins of Portuguese society.

“Costa’s is a willfully pure cinema, an uncompromised and rapturous mode of B-film able to abandon and reinvent the rules and traditions of the classical cinema he understands so well.”

  •  Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese with subtitles


No screenings currently scheduled



International Competition Program Patron

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation