Film ID:
YFA 5659

CONCERNING PORTUGAL

1968

Visitor Tabs

Description

This holiday film by Eric Hall travels through sunny Portugal, visiting beaches, religious monuments, markets and small towns, observing Portuguese daily life as it goes.

The film opens with a hemp sack stamped ‘Portugal’ on the back of a horse-drawn cart. Green-uniformed military cadets are seen on parade, followed by the Portuguese coast and women carrying tall jars on their heads.

Title – Concerning Portugal

Title – Produced by J Eric Hall

On a sandy beach, a group of men and women hall a fishing boat ashore, as a train goes past in the background. Visitors walk around the base of the Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon, which demonstrates its vast scale.

Hardy plants line the shore and are buffeted by the wind. On a beach, holidaymakers lounge under vibrantly coloured parasols, play beach games, and children frolic in the surf. A local woman gathers seaweed into piles along the tide line. A worker uses a wide broom to sweep water over shallow salt evaporation ponds. Near him is a small mountain of salt already collected, and others are dotted in the distance.

In a city with a wide waterway running through it, palm trees line a sandy square. The pavements and façades of some houses are decorated with small tiles in attractive patterns.

From above, two oxen can be seen on a crowded beach, ready to pull fishing boats ashore. A group of fisherman in clothes made of colourful checked fabrics and black woollen hats with a tassel stands near some boats. Others sit on the sand untangling and mending nets. An ox drags a boat up the beach, and a tractor is also used for this purpose.

Fish are unloaded from the boats by women who carry the baskets on their heads, sometimes two at a time. They receive a white token for each basket unloaded from an older woman who keeps track of the work.

At a market, a woman shreds salad vegetables using a hand-driven metal appliance and sells them in plastic bags. Other produce available in sacks, baskets and on the ground includes fruit, fresh bread, blue-painted pottery, wicker furniture and rugs.

A long, low building with a red roof and blue tiled decoration to the walls is seen from outside. A row of large yellow pumpkins sit on a nearby wall. In a field are three windmills with triangular sails, and a waterwheel turns in a stream surrounded by tall vegetation. Two women lead a goat and a donkey laden with straw, while others lead cows and carry bundles of green vegetables on their heads.

A cobbled street runs through a small town, along which a barefoot woman carries a jug on her head. On a dusty country road, a procession of women carrying assorted baskets, jugs and bundles on their heads passes by on their way to a religious festival at Fatima.

A small chapel on the wide plaza of the Sanctuary of Fatima, a Roman Catholic place of worship, is thronged with people who wait to get in, with some kneeling and praying outside. Next to the chapel is a small square plinth covered with white candles, some lit and some melting in the sun. The vast square has steps up to a cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, with large colonnades on either side, the walls of which have murals depicting Jesus’ sufferings. In the centre of the plaza is a tall white column with a golden statue of Jesus atop it.

The monastery of Santa Maria at Batalha has a cloister with finely carved arches and other decoration, which the commentary notes is one of the finest in the world. Visitors wander around the courtyards and take photographs. Inside another monastery, this time at Alcobaça, a priest in white and gold kneels at the altar, with a second man in red robes behind him. He marries a young couple, watched by the guests who sit in the first two rows of pews.

The film ends back at the beach, with boats and oxen on the golden sand near the sea.

Title – The End