Changing Tides

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File:Manuel Pardal e capataz.jpg
Manuel Pardal (on right) together with an old friend facing the foreman

Changing Tides (Portuguese: Mau Tempo, Marés e Mudança – 1976) is a Portuguese feature-length film by Ricardo Costa, his first docufiction, preceding Bread and Wine (1981) and Mists (2003).

Manuel Pardal, native poet[1] and fisherman, is the protagonist. This film and a book publication of his poetry, Em Cima do Mar Salgado (On the salted sea),[2][3] an anthology of his poems (175 pages), are the single remaining registers of his life and work.

The film was first released by RTP (Portuguese national television) in 1975.


Manuel Pardal, a solitary fisherman who makes his meagre living from the sea, a native poet, is a keen observer of human and social conditions. Like some in Algarve (the southern Portuguese coast), or others in Alentejo, a flat and dry close region, he is one of the last survivors of the Portuguese oral literature. Illiterate, he follows oral tradition common to both regions, consisting in using straight rhyme and free improvisation; the poet is an artist and an actor.

In the film, he plays a new role using new instruments, improvising together with a new partner, the filmmaker. He goes fishing offshore the town where he lives, Quarteira. Solitude and long waiting make him think. He thinks a lot. He has become a philosopher.

He is now acting. Those waiting for him on the beach, living together with him, his friends, and their children will also play the game, showing themselves together with Pardal making his exciting show (his name means "Sparrow" and he exploits it), telling amazing stories, reciting fine verse, asking serious questions.

He also plays Portuguese guitar and sings romantic or "frank" fado.[4][5]


  • Manuel Pardal – fisherman and native poet
  • His family
  • His friends


  • Director and producer: Ricardo Costa
  • Co-producer: RTP
  • Photography, camera: Ricardo Costa
  • Portuguese guitar: Manuel Pardal
  • Spanish guitar: Abílio Delca
  • Sound: Maurício Cunha and Jorge Melo Cardoso
  • Editing: Maria Alice Cruz
  • Mixing: Jorge Melo Cardoso
  • Studios: RTP
  • Format: 16 mm b/w
  • Genre: docufiction, ethnofiction
  • Running time: approximately 90 minutes
  • Premiere: RTP, 1977

Bibliographic references[edit]

See also[edit]

  • List of docufiction films


  1. Manuel Pardal
  2. Book cover
  3. Two poems (Portuguese)
  4. Producer's information
  5. Article at the Portuguese Wikipedia (see "Mau Tempo, Marés e Mudança")

External links[edit]

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