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When her husband leaves to find work in Portugal, Vitalina is left behind in Cape Verde. Years later, she finally makes the journey to Lisbon, but arrives three days after his funeral. Alone and isolated in her late husband’s home, she is determined to persevere and confront the ghosts of the past.
Luminary Pedro Costa’s unique, collaborative style of portraiture reaches a magnificent peak in Vitalina Varela. Amongst haunting chiaroscuro compositions, Varela’s real-life stories of love, migration, and deceit take the form of bewitching incantations—and earned her Locarno’s Best Actress award!