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Directed byRicardo Costa
Produced byRC filmes
Written byRicardo Costa
StarringRicardo Costa
CinematographyRicardo Costa
Distributed byRCfilmes
Release date
Running time
78 min.

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Mists (Brumas) is a 2003 Portuguese independent feature-length film by Ricardo Costa, a docufiction. Nonlinear narrative, conceived as an auto-biography, it is a voyage to childhood.

Shot with no state funds (uncommon situation in Portuguese film production), self-financed, it is an art film. Formal simplicity[1] – associated with a non conventional, sober and fluid narrative[2][3][4] of Time and human condition – is common to most of Ricardo Costa’s films. For him, narrative involves necessarily mise-en-scène and that’s why documentary (real life) tends to turn into fiction. This tendency is fully assumed with Mists, the third Costa’s docufiction, after Changing Tides (1976) and Bread and Wine (1981).

Mists is the first film of a new sequel docufiction autobiographic trilogy, Faraways.[5] Drifts (Derivas), released in 2016, is the second and Cliffs (Arribas), in post-production, is the third one. The filmmaker stars the main roles in those films. Mists is set in Peniche, the protagonist's place of birth. Drifts is set in Lisbon, where he lives and works as photographer, and Cliffs again in Peniche, where he returns to face disquieting situations and puzzling characters.[6]

Mists premiered at the 60th Venice Film Festival (New Territories – 2003), was released in Portugal on 16 November 2006 and opened in New York at the Quad Cinema on March 23, 2011, event followed by other screenings outside the city.[7][8]

File:Maria Jose.jpg
Maria José eighty years old
File:Maria Jose + David.jpg
Maria José feeding her great-grandson David
The 'hero' offering a penknife to Rudolfo


Back to his birthplace (Peniche, a Portuguese fishermen town) more than fifty years after he saw Maria José, who used to be a maid at his parents’ house, when he was a child, the “hero” (the film director) meets her again in the summer of 2011. She is now a mother, grandmother and a great grandmother, with the sea embedded in her soul.

Reflecting what the hero’s eyes observe, the camera follows those steps, moves backwards, and then it lurches forward, suggesting a disquieting outcome of situations of these days, like those of the September 11. The boys who live around her tell the same story in a different way. To make that possible, all it takes is a flick-knife, a handsaw, a broom stick, bamboo canes, floaters from the sardine nets, a few magic tricks. (CIT. producer's release)


  • Producer – Ricardo Costa (filmmaker)
  • Director – Ricardo Costa
  • Production year – 2001
  • Format – DVC pro converted into 35 mm Dolby SR
  • Release – September 2003
  • Locations – Peniche, Portugal
  • Image studios – Concept and Tobis Portuguesa
  • Image master and sound mixing – Téletota (Paris)
  • Premiere - 60th Venice Film Festival 2003 (New Territories)
  • No budget film / Guerrilla filmmaking


  • Ricardo Costa as the hero
  • Maria José as the grandmother
  • Rudolfo as her grandson
  • David as her great-grandson
  • Isabel and Beta as her daughters
  • Henrique and Paulo as her sons
  • Maria Velha, Maria Joaquina, and Maria Bernardina as her friends
  • António Dias Lourenço as the old prisoner [9]
  • Luis C. Peixoto as the old photographer
  • Isaura as the hero's friend


  • Producer and director - Ricardo Costa (filmmaker)
  • Script – Ricardo Costa
  • Photography, camera, sound, editing – Ricardo Costa
  • Assistant director – Maria José Silva
  • Image assistant – Maria José Silva, Lígia Pereira, António A.B.C. Marques, António Maurício, Ricardo M. Costa
  • Editing assistant – João Brandão
  • Image supervisor – Vitor Estêvão a. i. p.
  • Sound editor – Ricardo Sequeira
  • Sound mixer – Jean-Paul Loublier[10]
  • Music - Manu Chao and Nuno Rebelo[11]

See also[edit]

  • Docufiction
  • List of docufiction films


  1. Mists: Memory and Meaning in Peniche, Portugal – review by Michelle Orange, Village Voice, Mar 23 2011
  2. Ricardo Costa and The Flowing Pictures – article by José de Matos-Cruz
  3. Mists – review by Eric Monder at Film Journal, March 23, 2011
  4. Mists – review by Diego Costa at SLANT, March 23, 2011
  5. Faraways at the producer´s page
  6. Cliffs at Faraways trilogy, producer’s page
  7. Film screening and Q&A with director at Brown University, April 6, 2011
  8. Screenig announced at Cable Car cinema Archived 2013-08-10 at the Wayback Machine – News, Theater Profile: Cozy Flicks at Cable Car Cinema at New England Film, Thu, 06/30/2011 - 19:00
  9. NYT article about a related political prison
  10. Jean-Paul Loublier at NYT Movies
  11. Nuno Rebelo (Azul Esmeralda and other themes) at the ballet school of Museu Municipal de Peniche Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine (Lifecooler)

External links[edit]

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