Ricardo Costa

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File:Maria Jose + David.jpg
Maria José feeding her great-grandson David
Ricardo Costa
Born(1940-01-25)January 25, 1940
Peniche, Portugal
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation

Mists (Brumas), 2003, is a Portuguese feature film by Ricardo Costa. It Is the first of a sequel docufiction trilogy entitled Faraways (Longes). The second one is Drifts (Derivas) and the third one Cliffs (Arribas) [1]

The film premiered commercially in Portugal at the Quarteto cinema in Lisbon on 9 November 2006, on 16 November at the Palmeiras cinema in Oeiras, as well as at the cinema Quarto Crescente, in Peniche (Portugal), where it was shot.

Mists was screened in the US in New York at the Quad Cinema on March 23, 2011, with subsequent screenings in other US cities.


More than fifty years later, the protagonist eventually discovers Maria José, maid in his parents' house, who would tell him senseless stories when he was a child. She was about eighteen. The young woman became a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Now she has deep wrinkles and the sea in her soul. She has always lived in Peniche, a fishermen town, homeland of the 'hero'. Now she inhabits in the neighborhood Janelas do Mar (Sea Windows) which consists of tiny whitewashed houses erected on the edge of a cliff close to an old fortress that became a sinister prison for resistants under António de Oliveira Salazar´s dictatorship.

Now she tells the story of her life and, at the same time, repeats ancestral gestures of someone who lives to give life, to illuminate childhood dreams. The camera's eye travels these paths, backs and then advances, revealing situations that are much talked about those days, such the September 11. The boys she lives with tell the same story their way. A switch knife, a handsaw, a broomstick, two or three bamboo branches, some sardine fishing net buoys and a few magic tricks are all they need.

Seduced by the hero, Maria José's grandson and great-grandson thus participate with some friends in an extraordinary adventure. Just kidding. The intense blue of the sea. The Atlantic, uncertain, roaring through the splendor of the mists. Time". (Cit.: synopsis by the producer).

File:Ricardo + Rudolfo.jpg
The 'hero' together with Rudolfo

Historical background[edit]

Mists is filmed in a neighborhood of Peniche commonly known as the "Bairro do Visconde" (Viscount quarter). Certain of its inhabitants prefer to call it the "Janelas do Mar" (Sea Windows). It is, in its origin, a slum, a core of clandestine buildings, inhabited by poor fishermen, who erected it on the cliff. Little by little, on their own initiative, working hard, the residents rebuilt and improved their neighborhood. High on the cliff, it is today a good example of popular urbanism, which honors the landscape. Halfway between these places, also facing the sea, lies the Peniche Fortress,[2] the prison he visited as a child, taken by a friend, the illegitimate son of a bad memory sergeant whose mission was to torture the prisoners. It is there, in this discreet white-and-blue corner, that, after more than fifty years, "the protagonist" tells of having discovered Maria José : right there, just some steps from her parents' house. .[3]

There was a small, bare cell in the fort called "the secret" for extreme punishment where the most rebellious prisoners were placed. Right next to the secret was a well that roared, blew, and spat from its gut the prisoners' caps and berets, who had fun throwing them into the well. The well consists of a natural vault, dug in the rock under the cliff. When a stronger wave enters this vault, the air comes out violently. As in a dream, Mists 'heroes' play in the midst of this wind that blows from the bowels of the earth.

At the avant-première of Mists at the Cinemateca Portuguesa, Ricardo Costa mentioned that his film had been made without the usual financial state-mediated support for independent filmmakers, just with the help of friends, after a forced break of several years in his professional activity. Changes associated in Portugal with the dramatic breakdown of independent film production from the mid-1980s, that would only be mitigated in the following decade, and the sinking of a fiction feature film (Land of Stones, an adaptation of the Port Wine trilogy by Alves Redol) supported by official funds and by the Media Programme of the European Union, which was eventually not produced mainly due to serious errors of its producer, will partly explain this stop. In short: Mists would be a film made under even more precarious, more radical conditions than those in which Ricardo Costa worked when he began his career (Avieiros and Changing Tides (Mau Tempo, Marés e Mudança).

Filmed in 2001, completed in 2003, aired commercially in Portugal in 2006, captive until December 2010 by a 'no consequences' distribution contract, Mists will be taken over by the producer in early 2011 for a new release. Having been produced with no financial support, it can be classified as Guerrilla filmmaking, as it is on the fringes of mainstream (MSM) production.

The 'hero' offering a switchknife to Rudolfo


  • Script : Ricardo Costa
  • Director : Ricardo Costa
  • Production : Ricardo Costa
  • Assistant Director : Maria José Silva
  • Camera : Ricardo Costa
  • Sound : Ricardo Costa
  • Editing : Ricardo Costa
  • Editing assistant : João Brandão
  • Soundtrack editing : Ricardo Sequeira
  • Sound format : Dolby SR
  • Sound mixer : Jean-Paul Loublier
  • Image studios : Concept and Tobis Portuguesa
  • Image Master and Dolby Blends : Téletota (Paris)
  • Music : Manu Chao and Nuno Rebelo [4]
  • Format : 35 mm colour (from DVCPRO)
  • Genre : Docufiction and Autofiction
  • Length : 78 min.
  • Distribution: RC Filmes
  • National release : November 9, 2006 (Lisbon); November 16 (Oeiras); December 2 (Peniche).
  • Internacional release : March 23, 2011 (NY – QUAD)


  • Inhabitants of the neighborhood Janelas do Mar (Sea Windows), in Peniche
  • Ricardo Costa (the protagonist)
  • Maria José (young maid and elder)
  • Rudolfo (grandson)
  • David (great-grandson)
  • Beta (daughter)
  • Isabel (daughter)
  • Henrique (son)
  • Paulo (son)
  • Maria Velha (friend)
  • Maria Joaquina (friend)
  • Maria Bernardina (friend)
  • António Dias Lourenço (former prisoner) [5][6]
  • Isaura (protagonist's friend)
  • Luis Correia Peixoto (amateur photographer)
  • Silvina Nascimento (juggler)
  • Lígia Pereira (fictional sound operator)
  • Peniche Museum Dance School (course by Marta Lapa)
  • Inhabitants and children of Bairro do Visconde
  • School n.º 1 of Peniche
  • Peniche Youth Association


  • 60th Venice International Film Festival (2003 – New Territories)
  • Festroia International Film Festival (2004), Setúbal
  • International Heritage Film Festival – Mists screened at the University of Évora, August 3, 2017 [7]

See also[edit]

  • Cinema of Portugal
  • Art film
  • Visual Anthropology
  • Docufiction


  1. "/cliffs". cliffs.name. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  2. Notorious Portuguese political prison becomes museum of resistance – news by Sam Jones, The Guardian, 31 Mar 2019
  3. How the CIA Taught the Portuguese to Torture – article by Christopher Reed at CounterPunch, May 21, 2004] (See : CounterPunch)
  4. Nuno Rebelo at DISCOGS
  5. "Peniche Fortress > Sea Tunnel | Flight of Dias Lourenço from prison". cm-peniche.pt. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  6. Lisbon Debates the Fate of an Empty Building With a Dark Past – article at The New York Times by The Associated Press, March 24, 2002
  7. "2017 | International Heritage Film Festival 2018/19". heritales.org. Retrieved 2019-09-14.

External links[edit]

This article "Mists (docufiction)" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Mists (docufiction). Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.